In less than a week, zinc-bromine battery company Redflow (ASX: RFX) has secured its second sales order, with this latest order set to power an Optus mobile phone tower in far north Queensland’s Daintree rainforest.
Optus has ordered six of Redflow’s ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries, which will provide energy storage at Optus’ mobile tower in the Cape Tribulation section of the rainforest.
Redflow’s 10 kilowatt-hour ZBM2 battery is scalable and can deliver 100% discharge daily for 10 years.
According to Redflow, Optus selected the batteries due to their sustained energy storage capacity, tolerance of warm temperatures, remote management capabilities and environmentally friendly design.
The battery can provide power in warm climates without the need for external cooling and can withstand temperatures up to 50° Celsius.
“Our batteries thrive on heat and hard work and are not prone to thermal runaway like other battery chemistries,” Redflow chief executive officer Tim Harris said.
“This Optus deployments, along with Hitech’s use of ZBM2 batteries for its digital television network roll out in Fiji, demonstrates how Redflow is establishing its credentials in the telecoms sector,” Mr Harris added.
The ZBM2 battery is manufactured from recycled or reused materials and its zinc-bromide electrolyte can be cleaned and re-used after its operating life.
This latest order with Optus follows Redflow’s announcement on Friday it had inked an agreement to supply 32 zinc-bromine flow batteries for two Melbourne-based children centres, which are due to open early next year.
A total of 16 ZBM2 batteries will be installed at the Wantirna South Knox Children and Family Centre along with 100 kilowatts of photovoltaic solar panel, with the batteries capable of storing up to 160kWh energy. The same amount of batteries and solar panels will be installed at the Bayswater Knox Children and Family Centre.
According to Redflow, its batteries are expected to generate annual energy cost savings of $140,000 for each site.
“This latest deployment of 32 batteries highlights the potential energy storage capabilities of Redflow’s batteries and the substantial efficiencies and cost savings our technologies can generate,” Mr Harris said.
“In addition, the potential ability for the batteries to share renewably-generated energy across sites provides an exciting opportunity for Redflow to lead the industry as battery technologies become a further necessity in an energy-constrained world,” he added.
Energy storage market
As renewable wind and solar energy sectors take off, the battery sector isn’t far behind.
“Energy storage is now seen as an essential part of the renewables solution – solving the problem of intermittency – to deliver reliable, affordable, zero-carbon energy to the world,” Mr Harris told representatives at Redflow’s annual general meeting this morning.
“Bloomberg predicts the global energy storage market will attract $620 billion in investment by 2040,” Mr Harris noted.
He added that although lithium-ion batteries dominate the energy storage market, flow batteries are becoming “increasingly recognised” for their role in the space.
“There is a clear market demand for batteries that can tolerate heat and hard work in applications where the shortcomings of lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries are clear.”
Mr Harris pointed out that market research company IDTechEx predicts the redox flow battery market will be worth US$4.5 billion by 2028.