ZBB Energy, a renewable energy power platforms developer, has said that its 100kW ZESS 500 zinc-bromine flow battery installed at CSIRO's Energy Centre in Newcastle, Australia, as part of the Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies (AEST) program, is fully operational.

AEST program aimed to enhance the value of renewable energy from intermittent electricity generation, such as solar and wind energy produced by the building’s PV panels and wind turbines through the development and application of energy storage technologies.

ZESS 500 has been designed to cover the total building load at night and during lower load periods such as weekends, with the excess stored energy capacity being exported to electricity grid and peak loads met by a combination of renewable energy, battery output and grid electricity.

The testing of the ZESS 500, which is managed automatically using data from CSIRO’s building management system, was performed over one year period, consisting of module testing at ZBB Perth laboratories and system testing at CSIRO Energy Centre.

Energy storage technologies like ZBB flow batteries are claimed to help power utilities manage energy intermittency, allowing an increased penetration of renewable energy into the grid and reducing peak demand on the electricity grid.