Wisconsin-based ZBB Energy completes Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies program in Newcastle, Australia; company installs, tests its zinc-bromine flow battery system designed to store solar, wind power
December 27, 2010
– ZBB's ZESS 500 Is Providing Advanced Storage, Powering CSIRO Energy Center Building and Exporting Power to the Grid
ZBB Energy Corporation (NYSE Amex: ZBB), the leading developer of intelligent, renewable energy power platforms, announced today that their ZESS 500 has been deemed a fully operational and validated success. It is installed at CSIRO's Energy Centre in Newcastle, Australia, as part of the Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies (AEST) program. This marks the completion of the 3 year contract, thus the company will recognize the final payment in this quarter's (fiscal Q2) revenue.
The objective of the AEST program was to maximize the value of renewable energy from intermittent electricity generation through the development and application of energy storage technologies. The AEST program provided funding for ZBB to install a zinc-bromine flow battery at the CSIRO Energy Centre to store solar and wind energy produced by the building's photovoltaic (PV) panels and wind turbines. The power capability of the battery is 100kW and can cover the total building load at night and during lower load periods such as weekends, with the excess stored energy capacity being exported to the electricity grid. Peak loads are met by a combination of renewable energy, battery output and grid electricity, with the ZESS 500 serving as the storage asset managed automatically using data from CSIRO's building management system.
The testing of the ZESS 500 was performed over a one year period, consisting of module testing at the ZBB Perth laboratories and system testing at the CSIRO Energy Centre.
Per the design and test criteria, the batteries automatically followed the power request from CSIRO with the ZESS output appropriately following the building management system load requirements. The testing demonstrated that ZBB's ZESS 500 flow batteries can be controlled to match the output of on-site, intermittent renewable generation and fluctuating load demands.
The complete AEST final Public Report can be found on ZBB's website, but the following is an excerpt from the findings of the report:
Power utilities can only access a limited proportion of renewable energy because most sources are intermittent and cannot be relied upon for peak loads by grid managers. Energy storage technologies such as ZBB flow batteries are one solution for managing intermittency, providing power smoothing options for utilities and for users and allowing an increased penetration of renewable energy into the grid.
The main benefits of the system are its low cost, which comes from its high energy density and ability to discharge to zero utilizing the full capacity of the system, and its long life.
The batteries increase the value of renewable energy power installations. Energy produced during the middle of the day, for example from PV solar installations, can be stored and returned later in the afternoon or evening in the peak period when solar radiation is less intense or absent, and when power prices are higher.
Energy storage systems help reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. This enables electricity distributors to meet peak demand periods more easily and ensures continuity of supply from diverse sources of energy. The use of storage can also defer the need for utilities to upgrade infrastructure spending.
The loss of electricity supply to commercial buildings and sites has costly implications from a loss in productivity or, for hospitals and government facilities, more serious consequences. Such customers may wish to pay a premium to ensure an uninterruptible supply by storing energy to provide backup power.
Zinc-bromine flow batteries can provide continuous site power when grid supply ceases for an extended period. The operational life of the batteries is not decreased by full discharge cycles: full or partial capacity can be used depending on the duration of power outages.
The use of energy storage allows customers to shift a significant part of their consumption to off-peak rates.
While there are numerous key achievements attributable to the AEST Project, it is important to note that ZBB's ZESS energy storage system operates with fully automated control, interacting with the building management system, fully participating in the energy mix of the building, which includes renewable energy, battery output and grid electricity. The AEST project has also provided ZBB the opportunity to recognize and incorporate technological advances as part of the V3 next generation ZESS products.
Geoff James, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO, said, "Having ZBB Energy Corporation's deep-cycle flow battery at the CSIRO Energy Centre allows us to explore how energy storage can add value to grid-connected customers. We manage and monitor energy flows to and from the battery, the electricity grid, and diverse building loads and renewable energy sources on site."
"Congratulations to CSIRO, AEST, and our team in Perth, lead by Bjorn Jonshagen, for completing this challenging project on time and demonstrating how large scale energy storage enables renewable energy use and expansion," said Eric Apfelbach, CEO of ZBB Energy Corp.
About ZBB Energy Corporation
ZBB Energy Corporation (NYSE Amex: ZBB) provides distributed intelligent power management platforms that directly integrate multiple renewable and conventional onsite generation sources with rechargeable zinc bromide flow batteries and other storage technology. This platform solves a wide range of electrical system challenges in global markets for various types of sites with utility, governmental, commercial, industrial and residential end customers. A developer and manufacturer of its modular, scalable and environmentally friendly power systems ("ZESS POWR™"), ZBB Energy was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Wisconsin with offices also located in Perth, Western Australia.