RedFlow Limited’s (ASX:RFX) first grid-scale storage battery (comprising 48 modules) is set to be put into commercial use this year, while plans to release residential solutions shape up for early 2016.
Confirmation of the progress comes as the battery company continues successful harsh-environment field trials in Africa, Asia and Central America.
RedFlow CEO Stuart Smith put these advancements in the context of a growing energy storage market during a conference presentation in the US this week.
Smith evoked the much celebrated rise of ‘gigafactories’ to produce lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries for companies such as Tesla Motors (NYSE:TLSA) in an argument that called for a more effective energy storage solution that uses no rare earth materials.
“RedFlow has not only invented this battery, we have successfully commercialised it and are manufacturing it today.” he told delegates at the Future in Review (FiRE) conference in the state of Utah.
“Our flow battery actually enjoys full charging and discharging on a daily basis – something that damages or destroys other types of batteries. It also thrives in hot, humid climates and is fully recyclable being made from plastic! Even the electrodes, the heart of any battery, are made of plastic.”
The company’s zinc-bromide batteries (ZBMs) provide high energy density at 8kWh -11kWh and have a small footprint.
As the foundation of the RedFlow product range, ZBMs boast a robust and versatile design that is ideal for storing and shifting renewable energy, managing peak grid load and supporting off-grid power systems and telecommunications.
“When flow batteries are mentioned one associates them with large, bulky vanadium storage products with tanks as big as this room.” Smith added.
“Our core flow battery product is the smallest flow battery in the world – it is a small compact modular unit measuring 33 inches by 32 inches by 16 inches that can deliver 10 kilowatt hour day in and day out each and every day. This is obviously a significant difference from the past.”
Although RedFlow IP was developed in Australia, the company’s flow batteries are available globally through manufacturing partner Flextronics (NASDAQ:FLEX), a California-based manufacturing and supply chain solutions provider operating in more than 100 manufacturing plants in 30 countries.
This collaboration has resulted in ZBMs becoming the first flow battery globally to enter large scale production.
From an investment perspective, the relevance of this milestone is enhanced by the environmental imperatives worldwide which will drive increased application of the technology.
“With our product, we have a real opportunity to be one of the most disruptive energy storage technologies globally in a segment which is getting bigger on a daily basis and which constructively addresses climate and carbon emission issues facing the entire world.” Smith said.
The company has already outsourced the majority of its manufacturing to Flextronics but is now outsourcing the full manufacturing of its zinc-bromide batteries (ZBM) to Flextronics to enable scaling of its business.
In addition, new products are being developed to address the residential and small to medium enterprise energy storage sectors.
RedFlow products offer exposure to the renewable energy-related sector of energy storage without dependence on supply of rare earths.
The company’s flow battery is made from totally recyclable plastic and charges and discharges 100% of its energy every day no impact on longevity. It also tolerates heat, humidity and harsh conditions better than any other battery.
As the U.S.’ largest manufacturing and supply chain solutions provider, Flextronics represents a credible manufacturing partner.
RedFlow offers investor upside in its potential to be one of the most disruptive energy storage technologies globally in a fast-growing segment.
The company’s IP offer’s marketing diversity by constructively addressing climate and carbon emission issues facing the entire world.
Direct interest from potential customers has led the company to develop new products to address the demand for energy storage systems in the residential and small to medium enterprise sectors.
The first supported deployment of ZBM products into this important market sector will be with inverter/charger products from European inverter manufacturer, Victron Energy, which are electrically approved and widely deployed by system integrators around the world.
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