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Google Chief Picks Redflow For Across-Property Solar Energy

Google A/NZ engineering director Alan Noble is the first Australian customer to install Redflow’s new world market-leading ZCell batteries to deliver round-the-clock solar energy at his off-grid property in Willunga, SA, as Redflow – whose CEO/chairman is former NBN director Simon Hackett – has revealed.

Previously mains power was available in only one corner of the hilly 100-hectare Willunga property, owned by the Noble family, Redflow has announced in a widely distributed media release.

Extending mains power across the hilly terrain would be substantially more expensive and less flexible than the off-grid solution with two ZCell batteries, which can store 20 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, powered by solar panels on the roof of a large implement shed, Noble said.

He added: “We wanted the flexibility to build anywhere on the site without having overhead power lines.”

Noble said he had chosen Redflow’s ZCell zinc-bromine flow batteries rather than lithium-based alternatives for two reasons. “Firstly, they can cope with a high heat environment, which is not true of a lot of batteries,” he said.

“It does get hot here in the summer as the shed is not air-conditioned. Also, getting back to the earlier point about having power when you need it most, on really hot, high-risk bushfire days, I want to make sure my batteries are working …”

“The other benefit is that you can have them just sitting there. Conventional batteries don’t like being fully discharged. Longer term, that’s less of an issue, but over the next couple of years while we’re not living here full-time, it’s nice to know that I’m not going to destroy the batteries if they’re fully discharged. They’re also relatively compact batteries too, so they don’t take a lot of space.”

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