Solar Battery Storage Posing A Big Challenge to Australia’s High Electricity Prices

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
May 13, 2016

Australia is on the verge of a revolution, not the violent and costly one but a more progressive one as reported by The Guardian. A recent report from the US-based HIS technology has stated that Australia’s energy storage market will grow from less than 500 installations in 2015 to about 30,000 installations by 2018. Morgan Stanley has also stated that half of all homes in the country are interested in installing solar panels with battery storage with a potential market to be at $24B. Now this is a battery storage revolution.

The Tesla Powerwall, a lithium battery storage unit is to lead the acid gel battery of AllGrid Energy’s GridWatt system, but the Australian market seems to be warm and welcoming another battery innovation after another. Although Tesla is touted as the leader in battery storage, one of the biggest concerns of early adopters is the efficiency loss of the devices. For example, the Tesla Powerwall can start off with about 92% efficiency, but as the lithium battery degrades over time, capacity and efficiency drops further.

Then comes a new player in the Australian battery storage market. The ZCell battery claims it can maintain 100% of its storage but also features a round trip DC-DC energy efficiency per cycle of 80%. Plus, it’s recyclable at the end of its life and said to be the smallest flow battery on the market today. ZCell is a zinc bromide flow battery designed by Redflow, an Australian energy storage provider. Zcell was originally designed industrial, commercial and communications use but now, it was repackaged and sold as ZCell focused on the residential market.

The first batch of ZCells are expected to be out in the market around June and the estimated cost for the system including the installation is around $18,000. Hacket said that the price is not entry –level, but Zcell is a large battery and is suggested that the unit is more useful for households using large amounts of energy.

Click here for the full story on The Guardian

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