‘The Balmoral’, Sydney

Sydney luxury apartment complex ‘The Balmoral’ was completed in 2017. But its developers faced an electricity supply issue that will likely become more common as higher-density dwellings increasingly replace older single-occupancy homes.

The local grid was robust, but designed for a smaller population. The developer’s options were to upgrade parts of the local network or consider an energy storage solution.

Ecoult showed how, at a fraction of the cost of a grid upgrade, a fully monitored Ecoult UltraFlex system could keep the site within its allowed grid power limit.

Background

High-density property developers must work around limits on their local grid connection. A larger-than-expected pool pump or even a small increase in air-conditioning allowance can often be enough to push compulsory grid upgrades into the project budget. Such work can give little change from a million dollars, so it’s the kind of non-trivial problem that can really spoil a developer’s day.

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The Deka® UltraBattery® delivers excellent performance in partial-state-of charge operation with fast charging rates, high energy density, and exceptional lifetime throughput.

Client challenge

While grid supply issues are usually associated with outlying, weak-grid areas, it is not uncommon for urban projects to face grid constraints. And it is the developer, not the grid operator, who is responsible for the cost of any necessary upgrades. This was the situation faced by the developers of The Balmoral.

In this case the upgrade would have required many hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent on equipment and engineering and, just as troublingly, a large transformer to be installed in a space-constrained site.


Solution Provided

Ecoult, working alongside energy management specialist Schneider Electric and system integrator Autonomous Energy, found that the site and application were perfect for the Ecoult UltraFlex system. Powered by the CSIRO-invented Deka UltraBattery – a unique hybrid cell that combines ultracapacitor and lead chemistries in a single electrolyte, perfectly suited to high-rate, long-life operation – the Ecoult UltraFlex delivers reliably high peak power.

The location – inside an electrical plant room adjacent to dwellings – required a technology with no flammable electrolytes and with flame-retardant construction. The Ecoult UltraFlex ticks both boxes.

The system’s recyclability was also attractive. Against competing technologies, which are close to non-recyclable, the Deka UltraBattery is virtually 100% recyclable. Each of the three major components (lead, plastic, and acid) can be safely recycled and used in making new energy storage devices.

Unlike traditional lead technologies, the Deka UltraBattery also easily handles variabilities in load and generation, and suffers no ill effects from weeks of continuous cycling with no refresh or float periods. Over its long life it can handle the toughest cycling applications, year after year.

The Balmoral, Sydney

The Ecoult UltraFlex system is also fully monitored, giving 24-hour remote access to the power system and alerting the maintenance team in real time to any unusual or unexpected activity. The Ecoult UltraFlex is designed for both slow daily cycling and fast fluctuations and will adapt to the needs of the site.

Ecoult UltraFlex Fully Monitored Graphs
Ecoult UltraFlex Fully Monitored Graphs

Partners in Power

EcoultSchneider Electricautonomous energy

Ecoult worked with the team at Schneider Electric and the electrical engineering and installation group at Autonomous Energy to design and engineer a unique solution that allowed the developer to install low-cost energy storage instead of a high-cost grid-connection upgrade, so the investment in batteries had an effective day-zero payback period.

We’re proud to have worked with great partners in developing a new application that takes us another step closer to a more flexible and reliable grid.