A Queensland family has chosen ZCell batteries to guarantee that their new home has electricity without any power bills in the largest Australian residential energy storage system to date for Redflow. The Bates family’s six-battery, 60 kilowatt-hour (kWh) system ensures complete off-grid operation for their recently built home on a cattle and grain property, about 2.7 kilometres from mains power.
When Scott and Breeann Bates built their new house near Wallumbilla, they chose a ZCell-based energy storage system to give them uninterrupted power, grid-independence and no power bills rather than pay many thousands of dollars per kilometre to connect mains power to the house. ZCell batteries are produced by Redflow Limited, the ASX-listed company that has developed the world’s smallest zinc-bromine flow battery. The system was installed by Off-Grid Energy Australia.
Breeann Bates said the ZCell-based system was living up to their expectations. “We are really impressed with it,” she said. “Scott wanted to be able to do everything on batteries that we could do on mains power and not compromise our way of living. It’s cold in the morning, so we’re running the heaters to keep our three kids warm, and we keep them on until the day warms up.
“Costwise, the difference between running mains power to the new house site and setting up the solar-powered energy storage system was negligible. Given this situation, a solar system incorporating Redflow batteries was an attractive option for us to store reliable power and eliminate power bills. ZCells are designed in Australia and can tolerate hot conditions.”
The Bates family built their new home at Bardlomey, a property in the Maranoa region of Queensland, about 40km east of Roma. They previously lived at adjoining property Winnathoola, where the grid supplied power for their home. Their energy storage system comprises six Redflow ZCell zinc-bromine flow batteries, two Victron Quattro 48/10000 inverter/chargers and 72 Tindo 260-watt solar panels, with an 18.72 kilowatt peak (kWp) capacity, installed on a nearby shed.
The Bates family made a conscious decision to live off-grid, so they designed their 400-square metre single-storey four-bedroom home with insulation in the floor, walls and ceiling.
“We were initially interested in solar because running mains power the required distance to our site was going to be an expensive exercise,” explained Breeann. “The added benefits of uninterrupted power and no power bills made the decision easy.”
Redflow Global Sales Director Andrew Kempster said the Bates family installation demonstrated the value delivered by ZCell batteries for residential customers. “We are receiving a significant number of orders for multiple ZCells from customers whose homes are off-grid,” he said. “They recognise the benefits of ZCells including their tolerance of hot climates, their ability to discharge 100 per cent of their power without damaging the battery and the fact that they retain their full storage capacity for many years.”
Breeann said the ZCell-based system was successfully supplying enough energy to handle the changeable weather of inland Queensland. “Our variable climate means we can have the air conditioning cooling the house one day and then heating it the next,” she said. “Even through these challenging conditions, the system has managed to seamlessly fulfil our power needs.”
Breeann praised the service from Off-Grid Energy and Redflow. “They have been extremely professional and easy to deal with,” she said. “They really care about what they’re doing and how we use our system. Off-Grid Energy and Redflow keep in touch regularly and can remotely monitor our system, giving us peace of mind. We are very happy with the experience so far.”
Redflow’s unique zinc-bromine flow batteries are designed for stationary energy storage applications ranging from its ZCell residential battery to its scalable ZBM2 batteries for industrial, commercial, telecommunications and grid-scale deployment. Redflow Limited, a publicly-listed company (ASX: RFX), produces high energy density batteries that are sold, installed and maintained by an international network of system integrators. Redflow batteries offer unique advantages including 100 per cent depth of discharge, tolerance of ambient temperatures as hot as 50 degrees Celsius and sustained energy storage of 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) throughout their operating life.