ZCell Launched

I’ve been working very hard with a wonderful team for quite some time now on launching the home-optimised version of the unique and very nifty Redflow ZBM2 battery.

Today we launched a new web site to announce that product (shipping mid year).

We’ve called it “ZCell”.

ZCell Logo

ZCell Logo

You can read all about it at http://www.zcell.com

For a variety of reasons (that you can read about at our FAQ section), we think this really is a better mousetrap. Its materially different (in better ways) to lead-acid and lithium based batteries.

We’ve been beavering away very busily here in Adelaide at Base64 on key aspects of taking this industrial-strength battery technology and reframing it as an easy to use, easy to install home energy storage system.

This technology is a huge passion of mine. I am quietly hopeful that we can make a positive difference to the world with it.

Why batteries will not cause mass defection from the grid

There’s a popular belief that the looming presence of batteries in people’s homes will lead to the widespread defection of those customers from the power grid.

In this view, living the dream means grid-independence where you harvest your own energy, one-finger salute the power companies and, when grid power fails for others in the street, your battery keeps the party going at your house.

While cutting the power cord sounds good in theory, in practice consumers gain many more advantages from staying connected to the grid.

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New Net, New Grid – FiRe 2015

In October this year I had the pleasure of having an in depth conversation about how the new energy grid and the new Internet grid is starting to evolve – and about the interesting similarities and overlaps that are evolving between the two.

A key thrust of the conversation related to the way that scalable energy storage is the transformative physical component driving changes in how the energy grids of the world will work in the future.

That conversation was undertaken between myself and Larry Smarr.

Larry was the perfect partner for this conversation. He is someone I have had the pleasure to have known in various contexts for some years now, and (as you will see in the video), we share some similar views on the topics concerned. I had a great time riffing with him on these topics.

The video of this conversation is available for your viewing pleasure here.

It is a 15 minute video that was excerpted from a half hour session at the Future In Review conference held in Park City, Utah in October 2015.

The Future In Review conference is pretty amazing – I’ve been a part of it for many years. This year I was (of course) wearing my Redflow hat loudly and proudly at the event 🙂

 

 

The New Power Game: Grid-scale batteries hit an inflection point

I’ve written a letter recently called “The New Power Game”

It looks at:

  • The rise of renewable electricity generation at grid scale
  • How grid scale renewables are starting to do the grid more harm than good
  • Why the addition of batteries at grid scale is the key to resolving that challenge
  • How this combination can replace (not merely augment) fossil-fuelled generators
  • Why new battery types – especially Flow Batteries – are ideally suited to this task

I found this very interesting to research and to write, and I hope that you find it just as interesting to read.

Please click on the link below to read ‘A New Power Game’.

The-New-Power-Game

This letter was written originally for subscribers to the Strategic News Service (SNS). It is posted here with their kind permission.

How an Australian glider pilot obtains a US Glider Pilots License

I want to be able to fly gliders as “pilot in command” in the USA via a US FAA license issued reciprocally on the basis of my Australian one.

I also want to be able to fly powered aircraft in the USA on the same basis, but that is actually fairly simple. It is the glider part that isn’t, due to some unique aspects of the way gliding is administered in Australia.

Because the process turns out to be surprisingly hard (and non-obvious in places), I have documented it here, in the hope that it might help someone else in the future.

That said, please – only read on if you enjoy the sheer masochism of aviation paperwork… along with the unavoidable acronym soup involved in anything specialised…

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Tesla Model S cup holders learn a new trick

When I took delivery of my Tesla Model S, I knew that it had a lot of cool hardware that was slated to be enabled progressively in future software updates. Forward looking radar, steering-wheel control servos – all sorts of nifty things.

This morning, my son Felix found out about a very cool piece of hardware that has been quietly built into cars manufactured since late last year that include the ‘cold weather’ (or ‘subzero’) package.

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Tesla Model S as a software innovation platform

iphone version 1Back in 2007, I was fortunate to be in the audience in San Francisco’s Moscone Center when Steve Jobs stood up and released the first version of the Apple iPhone.

That device genuinely raised the bar. It was a watershed in the design and interaction model of a portable computing device. No mobile device company has designed a mobile phone or tablet device since then, without some level of reference to and comparison to the iPhone.

Model S is the product of a company lead through the rare talents of another visionary entrepreneur, Elon Musk.

When looking at this vehicle, it becomes immediately clear that this product – and its design team –  will have a comparable impact in the transport sector over the coming few decades.

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