Flow batteries for Asian telcos

Zinc-bromide flow battery manufacturer RedFlow has scored a battery supply agreement with Emerson Network Power Australia to develop a flow battery storage solution for off-grid and micro-grid markets in the Asia Pacific Region, reports ProactiveInvestors.

According to a company spokesperson, a key advantage of the products is their plastic build, which makes them ideal for harsh and remote locations.

New energy storage alliance launched

Officially launched with 70 founding members, the International Battery and Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA) states its mission is to “promote a path of cooperation and mutual support in achieving proactive solutions between all sectors within the photovoltaic (PV) power generation, battery storage and the smart grid technology value chain.”

The two men behind the new association are Bryan Ekus, managing director of the International PV Equipment Association, and Markus Hoehner, head of the Hoehner Research & Consulting Group.

Aimed at promoting networking and professional resources for “all those who produce and support solar, battery and energy services,” the IBESA costs €3,000 per year to join. We wish them every success and hope they will add to the development and adoption of energy storage.

Australia backs hydrogen energy storage

Queensland-based hydrogen energy storage developer Hydrexia is to get a AUS$4.5 million boost via The Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, reports Climate Spectator.

Gary Gray, Australia’s Energy Minister, announced: “Hydrexia will use the investment to commercialise its hydrogen storage technology in existing industrial gas markets, which will provide a commercialisation pathway for emerging applications such as hydrogen refueling and renewable energy storage.”

Australia set for energy storage boom

There is a lot of encouraging clean-tech news coming from Down Under these days. A report entitled Energy Storage in Australia – Commercial Opportunities, Barriers and Policy Options, compiled by Marchment Hill Consulting, makes the prediction that by 2030 energy storage capacity will reach more than 3GW. The current usage is estimated at around one tenth of that figure.

The report also estimates that the average cost could fall by more than 50% by decade’s end, to reach around USD$300/kW in a best-case scenario. The Australian industry itself has aimed for around $250/kW, which may be a little optimistic given another estimate, this time from Lux Consulting, of $500/kW.

Australian lobby group the Clean Energy Council cites increasing fossil-fuel prices, as well as the falling price of energy storage, as being a key factor in the sector’s predicted growth, claiming the market for energy storage will outshine the photovoltaic solar industry in terms of being a transformative technology.

During an interview with smh.com.au, the Council’s strategic policy manager, Tim Sonnreich said: “Whether policy makers like it or not, it’s coming. The cost-curves are coming down and the costs of alternatives (such as coal and gas) are going up. Storage is becoming a better and better deal.”

RedFlow unveils Zn-Br storage system

Developer RedFlow has unveiled a new renewable energy battery storage system that comprises 24 zinc-bromine batteries housed in a 20-foot shipping container. The M90 has a 90 kilowatt power output with 240 kilowatt-hours of capacity.

The company has 65 zinc-bromine battery systems installed across Australia and internationally, and this latest edition has found a home at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus, where it is connected to a solar photovoltaic array.

Australia’s biggest energy storage battery project

Hydro Tasmania has awarded Ecoult a contract to supply the largest battery-based renewable energy storage system in Australia. Oz-based Ecoult will be supplying a 3MW/1.6MWh storage system based on its lead-acid UltraBattery technology, which will have the capacity to power an entire island of over 1,700 inhabitants for up to 45 minutes.

The energy storage component is part of the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project, which, it is hoped, will lower CO2 emissions by 95% through the use of sustainable clean energy sources, including bio-diesel.

Asia-Pacific energy storage worth $12m…

A new report from Pike Research says that the growth in energy storage adoption in the Asia Pacific region will lead to a $12 million market, driven chiefly by Japan, South Korea and Australia, and that the total installed capacity of in Asia will surpass the 25GW barrier by 2022. Technical developments in India and China will also have a marked impact, says Pike.

…part of a $30bn global market in 2022

And it gets better. Pike is also forecasting the worldwide market for energy storage will be worth $30 billion in 2022. This takes into account advances in next-generation pumped storage, compressed air energy storage and advanced battery technology for grid-scale storage.

ZEN improves domestic energy storage

The South Australian firm ZEN claims that its active balancing battery management system halves the expense of storing electricity, compared to other lithium-ion units, reports the Brisbane Times. ZEN is primarily a software company, rather than a conventional battery manufacturer, and has applied its expertise to batteries produced by its sister company, the US-based Greensmith Energy Management Systems.

The 20kWh Freedom PowerBank is the size of a large fridge and currently retails at AUD$30,000 (USD$31,000), although the company hopes this will go down to AUD$20,000 once production is ramped up. The company hopes the unit will find favour with those wanting to store low-cost, night-time electricity for use in the day, when prices can go up by a factor of five. It would also benefit those wanting to dispense entirely with their grid supplier.