We installed 5.94kW of solar PV in late 2017, with an ABB PVI-6000TL-OUTD inverter, and also a nice energy efficient Sanden heat pump hot water service to replace our crusty old conventional electric hot water system. In the four years since then we’ve generated something like 24MWh of electricity, but were actually only able to directly use maybe 45% of that – the rest was exported to the grid.
The plan had always been to get batteries once we are able to afford to do so, and this actually happened in August 2021, when we finally got a single 10kWh Redflow ZCell zinc bromine flow battery installed. We went with Redflow for several reasons:
- Unlike every other type of battery, they’re not a horrible fire hazard (in fact, the electrolyte, while corrosive, is actually fire retardant – a good thing when you live in a bushfire prone area).
- They’re modular, so you can just keep adding more of them.
- 100% depth of discharge (i.e. they’re happy to keep being cycled, and can also be left discharged/idle for extended periods).
- All the battery components are able to be recycled at end of life.
- They’re Australian designed and developed, with manufacturing in Thailand.
Our primary reasons for wanting battery storage were to ensure we’re using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels, to try to actually use all our local power generation locally, and to attain some degree of disaster resilience.Continue reading