Redback signs with UQ to speed up solar and storage system roll-out


Energy storage firm Redback Technologies has signed a deal with The University of Queensland (UQ) that will see joint projects expanded and commercialisation of the university’s energy storage research.

The move will allow Redback Technologies to access the university’s solar energy assets for testing and demonstration purposes, which will accelerate the roll-out of Redback’s solar energy storage and management technologies.

Redback founder and managing director Philip Livingston said the partnership will enable the company provide customised downstream software benefits to prospective clients including energy retailers, network service providers, telcos and solar installation companies, as a means of enabling the next generation grid to take form.

In October last year Redback, founded in April 2015, launched its new internet of Things energy solution, the Redback Smart Hybrid System. The device, which runs on Microsoft’s Azure platform, has hybrid technology that manages and stores solar energy, allowing users to either save it for their own personal use or sell it back to the grid.

Speaking at a session on residential solar and storage hybrid systems at the Queensland Energy Storage Summit, Redback Technologies managing director Philip Livingston said battery technology is exciting, but industry needs to talk about the broader issue.

“Fundamentally, for residential consumers, there’s a problem with self-consumption. Consumers only consumer about 20-30 per cent of the energy they generate, and that means 70 per cent of that value gets exported to the grid. Batteries provide a technical solution for self-consumption to capture some of that excess flow,” he said.

“The price of batteries are falling, but they are still expensive. Lithium technologies won’t be cheap enough for residential owners for another two to three years,” he said.

“It’s not long, but fundamentally, some of the latest software and technology developments, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), will see a better return on investment. This is cutting edge stuff we’re doing with the University of Queensland. We’re in the start-up space, and it’s a fast moving race.”