The proposed renovation of a heritage-listed building in central Adelaide was able to proceed following the installation of a scalable energy storage system.

Located on Franklin Street, Darling Building, which was built in 1916, was bought by architectural firm Williams Burton Leopardi.

Plans to proceed with a complete renovation hit a roadblock when it was discovered that the local power grid wouldn’t be able to support the planned peak energy demand of the renovated building.

Several solutions were proposed but rejected by the firm because of the cost involved since it would have made the project financially unviable.

The solution finally came in the form of Redflow’s ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries, which solved the problem of insufficient energy supply. The building needed a suitable battery as a peak management system.

Redflow batteries provided a scalable energy storage system that would help them address any shortfall in energy supply from the grid.

Six of Redflow’s ZBM2 batteries have been installed in the building with the flexibility to scale the system to 12 or 18 batteries in future if required.

The batteries will not only supply energy to the building during high demand periods beyond the grid’s capacity but also are configured to buy power during off-peak hours to recharge the batteries. Additionally, when power spikes past a certain price, they dribble energy into the load to manage the spike.

Darling Building was completely renovated with new lighting and air conditioning systems, as well as a fully-rebuilt heritage-listed elevator. Redflow partner Solar Depot installed the ZBM2 batteries with three Selectronic SP Pro inverters, delivering three-phase power from the building’s basement.

The building also received fire compliance approval from the Metropolitan Fire Service, which acknowledged that zinc-bromine flow batteries complied with all the relevant building codes concerning fire rating as they did not present the same fire risk as lithium-ion batteries.

Describing the Redflow-based energy storage system as an ‘exciting opportunity’ for other building projects, Williams Burton Leopardi director David Burton said that a single battery system could support several buildings, and also operate as a mini storage facility and power station.