Melbourne children’s centres to get batteries

solar batteries

Australian energy storage company Redflow Limited has signed an agreement to supply 32 zinc-bromine flow batteries for two new state-of-the-art children’s centres in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

The Knox Children and Family Centres at Wantirna South (due to open in January 2019) and Bayswater (due to open in March 2019) will each include 100 kilowatts of photovoltaic solar panels and 16 Redflow ZBM2 batteries, storing as much as 160 kilowatt-hours of energy. Renewable energy with Redflow storage is expected to generate annual energy cost savings of $140,000 for each site.

The advantages of Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries include:

  • The ability to discharge 100 per cent of their stored energy daily without damaging the battery
  • Sustained energy storage capacity for 10 years
  • Tolerance of warm temperatures, and
  • Inherent safety with a non-flammable electrolyte.

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Redflow partner Torus Group, which is installing both solar panels and batteries, will install the first ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries next week.

Torus Group CEO Anthony Vippond said the use of renewable technology at the new centres would reduce their dependence on the energy grid.

“As well as cutting power costs, [the batteries] will provide resilience for essential services, such as backup power for exit and emergency lighting and lift motors, which is important in a community facility like this,” he said.

“Also, Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries do not have the potential fire risk that’s associated with other battery chemistries. Redflow batteries also use components that are easy to recycle or reuse, and, of course, Redflow is an Australian technology company.”

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Mr Vippond also said that Lotus Energy, a related entity of Torus Group, was investigating the potential for the two childcare centres to share their renewably generated energy using blockchain technology, which would further bolster their energy independence.