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Redflow boosts South African business with second battery sale


Australian energy storage company Redflow has won a second deal for the sale of 32 zinc-bromine flow batteries to provide standby energy storage for mobile phone towers in South Africa.

The Australian-listed company (ASX:RFX) secured the second sale following an initial order last month for five batteries for use at mobile phone towers run by a leading South African telecommunication company. The towers are owned by a local company that is supported by the South African Government’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) affirmative action agenda.

Redflow CEO Tim Harris, who received the new order after a visit to South Africa last week, said it “clearly demonstrated the technological and commercial viability of Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries for telecommunication deployments”.

“Our batteries thrive on heat and hard work, which is what these sites in South Africa require. Following yesterday’s Optus announcement, today’s new sale further highlights the value proposition that Redflow’s ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries deliver to telecommunications companies, both in Australia and overseas.”

Redflow says its long-term South African partner, Specialized Solar Systems (SSS), working with renewable energy specialist Amber Energy, is providing the energy storage and telecommunications skills to deploy the batteries at remote mobile phone towers.

Harris says the new order of 32 batteries will support the telecommunication company’s mobile tower rollout program to March 2019.

SSS CEO Peter Bergs said the new order followed the successful delivery of the first five Redflow batteries. “This telco is expanding its infrastructure rapidly, so it has an aggressive schedule to deploy mobile phone towers with energy storage provided by Redflow batteries.

“Redflow’s batteries are ideal to store solar energy for mobile phone towers, which are often located in remote areas. These batteries maintain their energy storage capacity despite working hard, day in and day out, and also tolerate warm climates, which are common in South Africa.”

According to Redflow, a major benefit of its batteries is their ability to operate in Standby Power System (SPS) mode, where the batteries are charged and then placed in a dormant state, with no self-discharge, until they are required to supply energy during a power outage. Redflow’s SPS mode avoids the need for a standby diesel generator eliminating the cost, complexity and risk of storing fuel at the site.

And Redflow says the 240kg size and lack of saleable components in Redflow batteries also discourage theft, an endemic problem with legacy batteries.

Harris says Redflow is building its presence in the South African telecommunications market after establishing its flow batteries with customers in manufacturing, such as Bosco Printed Circuits in Johannesburg, and local government, such as Mossel Bay Municipality in Southern Cape, as well as at residential sites.


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