The application of a large-scale zinc-bromine battery storage system will allow significant research into interactive yield management, and in various new methods of feeding power to the grid.

The prototype RedFlow 200 system, rated at 200kW, will be linked to a 339kW section of the UQ Solar array, allowing electricity generated from the sun during the day to be fed into the grid at periods of peak demand, when electricity is most valuable.  An identical 339kW adjacent group of panels will feed their power directly into the grid as the power is generated. A comparison between the two sections will provide valuable data on how solar PV power with storage can assist the network.

Meanwhile, local distribution company Energex has contributed $90,000 to fund state-of-the-art metering and monitoring equipment in order to provide high-quality data and analysis on the solar-generated power feed.  This data will support detailed research into the engineering and economic aspects of how a medium-size solar energy generating plant interacts with the grid.

The research will pave the way for numerous other renewable energy plants – including wave, wind and solar — to play an increasingly complementary role and eventually help replace carbon-intensive power generation from coal and gas. UQ's Professor Paul Meredith says the research will help advance understanding on how a range of renewable energy sources will interact with the power grid.

"The grid has been set up to take massive, high-voltage electricity inputs from a very small number of enormous coal or gas power stations," he said.

"With this research — we expect to answer important questions about how to integrate our electricity grid with numerous types of small and medium-sized renewable energy sources feeding in power in numerous, varied locations.

"We at UQ are very fortunate to have RedFlow and its world-leading technology here on our doorstep in Brisbane, and to have the support from and engagement with Energex on this project.

"We are very excited about working together on this globally significant research."

Professor Meredith said the research project also would allow better understanding of the capabilities of zinc-bromine batteries, which have big environmental benefits over their traditional counterparts, lead-acid batteries.

"A big advantage is that they are filled with water, not acid," Professor Meredith said. "Zinc-bromine batteries are next-generation technology. They are making solar energy much more useable, useful and effective."

Redflow 200 system

System Specification

Redflow 200 system linked to a 390kW section of the UQ Solar array

Research Contact

UQ Global Change Institute
Phone: +61 7 3364 3110

Phil Hutchings
RedFlow CEO
Phone: +61 7 3376 0008

Industry Partner

RedFlow Limited