Tasmanian sheep farm installs micro-grid system based on flow battery – pv magazine Australia


Redflow’s systems integration architect and largest shareholder has brought his work home, installing a Redflow 280kWh battery-powered micro-grid at his sheep farm in northwest Tasmania.

Simon Hackett’s 73 hectare sheep farm, The Vale, has now achieved energy independence with the deployment of an advanced 100 kilowatt solar panel and energy storage system consisting of 28 Redflow 10 kWh ZBM2 zinc-bromine flux batteries. The final rollout crowns an extensive design and development process undertaken over the past year by Tasmanian company DMS Energy.

Hackett, who leads Redflow’s software and integration efforts as a systems integration architect, said the system would eliminate grid electricity costs for the property. “We expect this system to be self-sufficient, with a negative net energy bill. Now the Tasmanian power grid is just a backup power source for The Vale, ”said Hackett.

“The battery network makes extensive use of the Redflow Standby Power System (SPS) mode, allowing the batteries to be fully charged during sunny days in the sun, then to be ‘hibernated’ without self-discharge. During extended coverage periods, SPS batteries are automatically activated to support site loads instead of using the grid. This unique strength of Redflow’s ZBM2 batteries allows the site to maximize both the amount of energy storage and energy storage efficiency.

Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flux batteries deployed at The Vale.


The property’s new energy system includes high-capacity three-phase electrical wiring and a multi-gigabit speed single-mode fiber optic network ring, underground in all buildings on the property. The main landfill project was to pass under a river and under the property’s airstrip, which is Tasmania’s longest private runway.

The system uses a group of Victron Quattro 12 x 15KVA inverter / chargers and control systems that can deliver peak power of 180KVA.

Power for the system comes from the 100 kWp solar panel on the ground, which Hackett plans to expand to 200 kWp in the future. The objective is to create an energetic “fuel station” which will serve the electric tractors and other electric agricultural equipment which will eventually replace the existing fleet of diesel machines.

Although it is normally interactive with the network, the system can automatically and transparently switch to “off-grid” mode whenever the network is not available. The solar panel remains fully operational in off-grid mode, capable of both powering the farm and recharging the batteries.

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