Assault on battery
The chemistry of a brand new battery makes it lighter, more versatile and longer lasting than its lead-acid cousin.
The Clean Energy Expo held in Taupo during the middle of October was the appropriate setting for the New Zealand unveiling of a battery storage system that might see the traditional lead-acid models consigned to history. Developed by Australian company Redflow, the batteries are based on high performance zinc bromine electro-chemistry and could revolutionise the market. The zinc-bromine batteries weigh less than 20% of the equivalent lead-acid battery. But the most attractive feature of the devices is that they are designed to handle both 100% discharges and partial discharges (as opposed to a lead-acid battery which must be kept topped up). There is also no requirement for complete recharges after each discharge, as there is with a lead-acid model. The company boasts of the low operating costs and the long life of the batteries, with no expiry date or shelf life. Testing of the batteries to date has demonstrated well over 1000 full depth of discharge cycles. There is a warranty, however, which gives a guaranteed five years of life. The zinc-bromine module is an all-plastic construction with no heavy metal (lead, mercury, cadmium) content. All components, including the electrolyte, can be cost effectively 100% recycled. Designed for both industrial and household use, the batteries will be sold in New Zealand by Powerco. For more
information visit basepower.co.nz