A battery storage solution works in conjunction with your solar system or electricity grid. It stores the excess energy your solar system is producing throughout the day so you can utilise it at a later time.
While the choice to purchase home or small office battery storage has been workable for various years, the storage batteries and different parts required have been costly, bulky and require a level of education to work and maintain. This has made private battery storage limited to off-grid applications and storage enthusiasts. Battery innovation has grown quickly as of late and this is expected to proceed.
It’s important to understand the types of battery storage systems available. Each have distinctive installation and maintenance prerequisites and safety requirements.
Several factors to take into account when researching battery storage are:
- Low price may be attractive but can also reflect quality and battery life. This may lead to frequent need for replacement and the costs over a period of time.
- Battery capacity needs to be considered as it measures the amount of energy stored in the battery.
- Ensure the battery bank voltage matches your system requirements.
- Cycle life provides the number of discharge/charge cycles the battery can provide before capacity drops to a specified percentage of rated capacity. Regardless of the same capacity and energy content the manufactures specify, their design, quality and materials can influence the length of the battery cycle.
If incorrectly installed, used or maintained storage batteries can be dangerous. It is imperative to deal only with qualified and accredited battery installers. Please contact one of our qualified staff to discuss storage batteries and the optimal power saving solutions for your home or small office.
What is ZCell?
A recently launched Australian-designed battery storage system is the ZCell. WES Group are proud to be one of few authorised installers of this new technology. The ZCell is a unique zinc-bromine flow battery. Not only will you see a decrease in your power costs when installing a ZCell with a suitable invertor, it provides resilience during grid power cuts.
The ZCell is the world’s smallest flow battery, (10kWh / 100% DoD) boasting no output capacity loss with age. It has Internet enabled monitoring and control with a 10-year warranty on the electrode stack (energy core). Installation is simplified with an on ground outdoor enclosure (about the size of an air conditioning unit). It works by harvesting energy from your solar panels or lower-cost off-peak power, for use when you need it.
Not only does this battery have a great recycling story, made with major components that are easy to recycle or reuse. It has no fire risk as it’s bromide-based electrolyte is a natural fire retardant while mechanical damage does not risk explosion, dangerously high current output from short-circuit or ‘thermal runaway’. The ZCell can operate at temperatures as hot as 50°C without active cooling.
ZCell is a new type of battery with performance characteristics that make it ideally suited to store energy for your home or office. ZCell is designed by ASX-listed company Redflow Limited (ASX:RFX), based on its core ZBM2 battery, which is operating at sites around the world including Australia, Asia, Africa, America and Europe.
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- ZCell delivers 100 per cent cycle depth of discharge without any risk of battery damage
- ZCell retains its full 10 kWh of storage capacity for its warranted 10-year life, unlike other battery types which lose significant storage capacity with age
- ZCell requires no reserved capacity, unlike other battery types that must reserve a portion of their storage capacity to avoid damage to the battery
- ZCell presents no fire risk, its bromide-based electrolyte is a natural fire retardant while mechanical damage does not risk explosion, dangerously high current output from short-circuit or ‘thermal runaway’
- ZCell operates at temperatures as hot as 50°C without active cooling
- ZCell offers unlimited shelf life: You can switch off a ZCell at any state of charge, hibernate it for extended periods of time, and then restore it within 60 seconds
- ZCell has a great recycling story, made with major components that are easy to recycle or reuse
- ZCell is Australian-designed and developed.
On-grid or off-grid energy storage: as ZCell is a modular system, it is straightforward to connect multiple ZCells to deliver more energy storage for larger homes or businesses. ZCell is a great battery choice for either AC or DC power, on-grid or off-grid storage energy systems, or a bit of both.
24/7 battery management allows you to use an easy web-based browser via smartphone or PC to set up, monitor, and control your ZCell. It also reports battery status and operational information that lets your AC inverter/ charger optimise use of the energy stored in your ZCell.
- ZCell delivers 100% cycle depth of discharge, without any battery damage or reserve capacity required.
- ZCell can be used on-grid and off-grid & multiple ZCells can be connected for larger homes or businesses.
- ZCell retains its full 10kWh of storage capacity for its warranted lifetime.
- ZCell enables you to buy energy ‘low’ and consume when ‘high’ – during peak demand price periods.
- ZCell offers an unlimited shelf life & can switch off & hibernate at any state of charge, for extended periods of time.
- ZCell allows the storage and shifting of renewables for anytime use.
- Australian designed and developed ZCell components are recyclable or reusable
- 48 Volt DC nominal battery (typical operating range 40-60V)
- Maximum 10kWh energy output per daily cycle
- No reserved battery capacity requirement – full 10kWh cycle depth available
- Warranted electrode stack lifetime 30,000 kWh energy throughput or 10 years (whichever comes first)
- Expected electrode stack throughput 40,000 kWh
- No cycle depth limitations – battery performance and lifetime is not sensitive to cycle depth
- Charge current 50A continuous (linear charge curve, no drop in charge rate up to 100 per cent full)
- Discharge current 75A continuous, 100A for 30 minutes, 125A for one minute
- Operating electrolyte temperature range of 15-50 degrees Celsius. ZCell can typically operate at ambient temperatures outside this range for extended periods – visit the ZCell FAQ faq.zcell.com for details
- On-board battery management, control and monitoring system. Monitors electrolyte fluid and outside ambient temperature, cell voltage, charge/discharge current, and includes two fluid leak detectors
- ZCell self-protects by suspending operations automatically if safe limits are exceeded. Where appropriate, ZCell will automatically return to normal operation when conditions improve
- ZCell enclosure includes secondary electrolyte containment to accommodate the unlikely event of electrolyte leak from the ZBM2 battery core
Bundled with the ZCell Battery Management System (BMS) – a WiFi/Web based configuration, control and monitoring system that interfaces one or more ZCell batteries to a range of energy inverter/charger/rectifier products. The ZCell BMS logs operating data and provides web-based system performance graphs
Storage batteries have several different combinations of electrode materials and electrolytes being used, including lead–acid, nickel cadmium (NiCd), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), lithium ion (Li-ion), and lithium ion polymer (Li-ion polymer).
The fast development of lithium-particle batteries and related innovation is one area of growth and improvement. The new era of battery storage is less expensive to purchase, streamlined and better looking.
Lithium batteries have design considerations similar to Gel or lead acid type batteries. Your off-grid power needs, pumps and appliances still require consideration. Gel batteries or similar need to be built in stacks to get them up to the nominal operating voltage of the inverters and chargers. Lithium batteries are already at a nominal operating voltage which allows you to start with one battery and add additional. Each battery is monitored and controlled allowing each battery to perform at their best.
Maintenance is at a minimum with online monitoring and diagnosis, enabling you to check the system status remotely from anywhere you are.
WES Group are qualified to support you in your battery storage solution needs. Contact us today to discuss your specific requirements.