Australian agribusinesses are choosing vanadium redox flow batteries to store vast amounts of renewable solar energy because of their low fire risk and excellent ability to provide reliable power.
Perth-based vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) supplier, VSUN Energy , has recently sold two VRFBs to agribusinesses in Victoria – to a goat dairy farm and an apple orchard.
Meredith Dairy , located 100km from Melbourne, operates with the principle of sustainability at its forefront and has purchased an 80kW/320kWh VRFB.
Meredith Dairy’s owner Sandy Cameron said, “We have been paying a premium to receive renewable energy from the grid for a while now, but to provide cost security and reliability of supply at a lower price than we buy our power, for now, installing our own system made sense”.
“So many businesses have been impacted by increased energy overheads in recent years and now, with the help of VSUN  Energy, we are taking control of our energy overheads, reducing our energy costs, improving our competitiveness while increasing our ability to produce power in a cleaner and smarter way.
“Our goal is to show that businesses can be profitable, but at the same time run a sustainable business that will have a positive impact on the planet we share with others and leave for our children. Profitability and sustainability do not need to be mutually exclusive.”
The second agribusiness, an apple orchard in Gippsland owned by Priest Bros, has purchased a 20kW/80kWh VRFB which will be attached to a 450kW solar array.
Sam McGahan, business development manager of VSUN  Energy, said vanadium redox flow batteries create a reliable, safe and stable solution for the storage of renewable energy. They offer long-duration energy storage with the ability to provide smooth power delivery for more than four hours.
“Whether in combination with solar PV, wind power, biogas generators or in parallel operation, VRFB energy storage systems ensure uninterrupted power supply,” Mrs. McGahan said. “They are independent of weather and temperature fluctuations, length of day and unstable grids.”
“Invented in the 1980s at the University of New South Wales, VRFBs are particularly well-suited to the agricultural business. Irrigation is an area of strength, with applications in the mining industry having similar requirements. Being able to scale the number of hours of energy provided means that pumps can run long after the sun has set.”