Redflow supplies $1.6 million Fiji order with Thai-produced batteries

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Fijians’ digital TV will be powered by Australian battery tech, produced in Southeast Asia. Redlow announced today that it will be supply $1.6 million worth of its 10kWh ZBM2 batteries – produced at its new Thailand factory.

Redflow shifted production to Thailand in 2017 in an effort to reduce costs. The move came with a retargeted of its sales efforts, away from residential storage and toward sizeable niche applications such as supplying remote telecommunications operations. The company announced only yesterday that it had begun shipping from its Thai facility.

Hitech Solutions is delivering the Fijian digital TV network, and selected Redflow’s zinc-bromide flow batteries for the project in September last year. The company will install 60 Redflow ZBM2 battery units across ten sizes in Fiji.

The digital television network is designed to deliver free-to-air broadcasting throughout Fiji, including the broadcasting of emergency announcements – in the event of cyclones. While not specifically stated in the Redflow announcement, the broadcast network appears likely be powered by solar PV.

Redflow has previously provided batteries to a trial site in Fiji – which utilized five battery units.

The robust nature of the Redflow battery chemistry in hot and humid conditions, and longer life, set it apart from lithium ion and lead acid respectively – the company states.

“We considered both lithium and lead-acid based batteries, but many sites are in remote locations with difficult access,” said Hitech Solution CTO Derek Gaeth in a statement. “Lead-acid has too short a service life and is very bulky in the limited space we have. We save 40 tonnes of battery weight by choosing Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries.” Gaeth noted that the Redflow passive cooling system presents an advantage over other systems – even when there are high levels of salt in the air.

“When required, they’ll [ZBM2 units] tolerate 100 per cent depth of discharge – that is, being completely run flat and left flat – without damaging the battery,” added Hitech Solution’s Gaeth. “A key benefit of Redflow batteries is their ability for sites to self-reboot from zero per cent state of charge and come back online when solar energy becomes available.  ZBM2 batteries cannot be overcharged and can be charged and turned off for long periods of time with no self-discharge.”

The Redflow batteries will be coupled with Dutch-designed Victron battery inverter chargers, and Fronius solar inverters.