Australia-based Redflow is to deploy its ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries at several telecom tower sites in South Africa as part of a six-month test project with mobile network provider Mobax.
Redflow will supply up to 10 of the batteries at its cost for the duration of the project, “with a particular focus on reducing the high cost of running diesel backup generators as well as being a less attractive target for theft”.
The project is expected to start in June 2019 and Mobax will be supported by Redflow’s South African distributor Specialized Solar Systems.
Mobax Group CEO Fred Watkins said Redflow’s batteries offered advantages over diesel generators, lithium and lead-acid. “As well as eliminating the cost and complex logistics of constantly shipping and storing diesel at remote sites and having to replace lead-acid batteries every few years, these long-life Redflow batteries reduce the risk of theft which is a major issue for all mobile telecom operators.”
The Mobax deal comes after Redflow won a follow-up sale of 32 ZBM2 batteries to provide standby energy storage for mobile phone towers in South Africa run by an unidentified telecoms company that is supported by the South African Government’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) affirmative action agenda.
Earlier this year, Redflow said it had provided a hybrid battery system coupled with solar energy generation to create a microgrid to provide a reliable power supply in a remote village in Thailand— the country that hosts Redflow’s Southeast Asia manufacturing plant base.