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Redflow and Redback team up to provide smarter solar


redflow redback z cell

After extensive testing, battery company Redflow Limited and energy storage management provider Redback Technologies have announced the compatibility of their technologies to bring a new, more efficient energy solution to Australian homes.

Redflow’s new ZCell home battery, launched in March, is a 10 kilowatt hour (kWh) flow battery that can ‘timeshift’ solar power from day to night, store off-peak power for peak demand periods and support off-grid systems. Redflow and Redback have been able to fully integrate the ZCell battery with Redback’s Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter System, which manages energy supplies from the grid, PV solar panels and a battery. ZCell with the Redback inverter will enable household and commercial users to achieve greater savings by self-consuming more of their on-site generated power.

Australia is transitioning to lower emission energy systems, with one in five homes around the country equipped with solar. Due to the popularity of home solar systems over recent years, the government plans to minimise the subsidies to solar bonus schemes, with the NSW scheme ending on 31st December 2016. Feed in tariffs will reduce by 38.8 cents per kWh to 5.2 cents per kWh from 44 cents per kWh, meaning home energy systems will need to be smarter and more productive to ensure peak performance.

Redback’s solution is hosted in Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite cloud platform, ensuring easy updates and upgrades as technology develops. It runs on a cloud-enabled intelligent system for analytics and remote control, which monitors consumption patterns, moving the use of appliances such as pool pumps and hot water into the “solar window” so they can be optimised to maximise self-consumption of rooftop solar.

Both Redflow and Redback are Brisbane-based companies that are using innovative Australian developed technologies to secure this country’s role in the emerging energy storage revolution.

Redflow executive chairman Simon Hackett said the Redback inverter was a smart piece of technology.

“We are very pleased that two Australian leaders in the emerging energy storage sector now have their devices working together. For customers to enjoy the benefits of Redflow’s innovative flow battery technology, it’s really important for us to work alongside likeminded businesses such as Redback,” he said.

Redback Technologies managing director Philip Livingston said he looked forward to working with Redflow as the energy storage sector develops.

“Australia is the perfect place from which to build a globally relevant energy storage sector based on local innovation, Redback Technologies is building the infrastructure for the next generation grid and partnering with Redflow provides choice to consumers and solar installers. We are going to put more money into homeowners pockets and create cleaner energy for our children’s future,” he said.

Redflow has undertaken extensive testing at its Adelaide-based battery lab to ensure ZCell can work quickly and easily with the Redback Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter System. Redflow expects to announce compatible inverters from other companies in coming weeks.

Redflow has already started installing exemplar ZCell energy storage systems and is currently training installers to enable them to install, maintain and monitor its flow batteries. The company expects customer installations of ZCell to commence in August.

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