Tesla's Powerwall is no longer the only player in the game. Australian energy storage company, Redflow, has thrown their hat into the ring with the announcement of a 10-kilowatt battery called the ZCell. The cell will cost between $17,500 and $19500 (USD) including installations and is the latest competitor in the energy storage range of products available to consumers.
Executive Chairman of Redflow, Simon Hackett has hyped the battery up by saying: "ZCell lets you discharge 100 percent of its total stored energy every day, whereas other battery types can require a significant amount of their underlying storage capacity to be locked out to prevent battery damage and to extend battery life. ZCell is a unique flow battery that loves to be fully charged and discharged daily."
Hackett also thinks that they have the better battery technology right now, compared to Tesla, however, he believes it is not about winning or losing amongst the battery storage competitors. According to OneStepOffTheGrid, the battery was designed with "zinc bromine flow battery technology" that was formulated at the University of Queensland.
When asked about how this will affect the future of power utilities and the entities that operate the grid and the country's energy, Hackett said, "I agree that the grid operators don't need to price themselves out of existence, but my strong view is that 5 years from now the smart ones will have realised they want battery storage operated to send power back when the grid needs it."
In the sixth episode of Engineering News Network, the Dean of Engineering at EIT (Engineering Institute of Technology), Steve Mackay, shares Hackett's sentiment, that the power utilities might be in for a tumultuous period. He said, "When you have a decreasing amount of power from the utilities' requirement - because you are producing your own power at your home - you'll find that the utility is having a drop in revenue." Mackay also admits that the government controlled power utilities "jack-up" the prices which cause power consumption to "drop-off" even further. "This is causing major challenges for power utilities around the world and is often referred to as the 'power utility spiral of death'."