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Mossel Bay goes carbon neutral with Redflow

Mossel Bay Municipality in the Southern Cape province of South Africa has eliminated the carbon footprint of its Technical Services Department buildings by deploying ZBM2 batteries from Redflow.

Installed in late 2016, the four 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) zinc-bromine flow batteries have enabled the aging offices to become net exporters of electricity to the power grid through the intelligent storage of energy harvested from 114 rooftop photovoltaic solar panels.

Mossel Bay Municipality Electricity and Mechanical Department Senior Manager Charles Geldenhuys said the Redflow energy storage system had exceeded expectations. “We are using more energy now than before the system was implemented,” he said.

“Now if the sun is shining for 50 percent of the day for two weeks, we will not touch the grid except to supply energy to it. It is only when there is a series of overcast days that we will use energy from the grid, so we are now a net contributor of energy rather than a consumer.”

Mossel Bay Municipality is the local government organization for Mossel Bay, a city of 130,000 people located halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. As well as providing typical local government services, Mossel Bay Municipality retails electricity to people in its area.

Mr Geldenhuys said Mossel Bay Municipality had decided to deploy Redflow batteries to gain experience with energy storage technology. “This is quite a new area for us, so we wanted to get our hands on this technology,” he said.

“We have approved a policy for our consumers so they can use solar to pump energy back into our system, so we decided it would be a good idea to do it ourselves. We have a philosophy that if we put a battery and solar system into our building, we use it to the fullest extent possible.

“We have configured the system so that the building will first draw energy from the solar, and then from the batteries, then pick the grid and, finally, start the generator if none of those are available. We are using the ZBM2 batteries on a daily basis, not just to create a backup system, but to form part of the whole energy system for our office.”

The ZBM2 energy storage system is installed at the municipality’s Technical Service Department office, which employs about 30 people across two adjacent buildings. With extensive use of computers, lighting, and airconditioning, the office contains technical staff and a 24/7 call centre. The facility draws about 120 kWh of energy each day, with a peak demand of 9-11 kilowatts.

Mr. Geldenhuys said he was “more than satisfied” with the service he had received from E-Power Technologies, SSS, and Redflow. “If we have a question, there‘s always a very quick response,” he said. “Also, these Redflow batteries are a clean product. We’ve got the batteries inside our building, two doors down the passage from my office, and there’s no smell and no noise outside the room. So we are very happy with it. We are smiling.”

The Redflow energy storage system installation and configuration were done by JB Snyman of E-Power Technologies, with support provided by long-term Redflow partner, Specialized Solar Systems (SSS).

Mr. Snyman said he had received significant interest in Redflow batteries from other businesses in the region because of their unique benefits including 100 percent daily depth of discharge and their ability to sustain 10 kWh of energy storage capacity throughout their operating life.

Redflow Global Sales Director Andrew Kempster said the Mossel Bay Municipality installation demonstrated the success of Redflow batteries in South Africa. “Along with our Bosco Printed Circuits, this installation at Mossel Bay Municipality demonstrates the value our batteries deliver to commercial customers in South Africa,” he said.

For media assistance, call John Harris on +61 8 8431 4000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Redflow

Redflow’s unique zinc-bromine flow batteries are designed for stationary energy storage applications ranging from its ZCell residential battery to its scalable ZBM2 batteries for industrial, commercial, telecommunications and grid-scale deployment. Redflow Limited, a publicly-listed company (ASX: RFX), produces high energy density batteries that are sold, installed and maintained by an international network of system integrators. Redflow batteries offer unique advantages including 100 percent depth of discharge, tolerance of ambient temperatures as hot as 50 degrees Celsius and sustained energy storage of 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) throughout their operating life.


Pezula Private Estate Grid-tied with backup

3.18 kWp Pezula Private Estate Grid-tied with backup with a lithium iron phosphate battery

Another Grid-tied solar system supplied and installed by Specialized Solar Systems using a lithium iron phosphate battery for PV generated energy storage. 

Place: Pezula Private Estate

Installation time: 3 days


36-48KWH/day Off-grid installation

36-48KWH/day Off-grid installation - Deep in the Baviaan’s Klein Karoo

Another off-grid solar system supplied and installed by Specialized Solar Systems using a lithium iron phosphate battery for PV generated energy storage. The off-grid solar system was designed to supply 36-48KWH/day with 10kVA peak draw.

  • 10 kVA Victron single-phase inverter charger.
  • 9.360 kW PV panels solar on special ground mount frame.
  • 2 MPPTS 185Ah.
  • 1 x Lithium ion phosphate Freedom Won 800AH usable 28kWHrs @70% D.O.D.

Off-grid solar systems are generally used when utility power is unavailable or too expensive to bring in to your home. It’s also an added bonus to be independent by being your own utility – no more utility bills!

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sun-Connect interview with Peter Bergs from Specialized Solar Systems

Please read this interesting and detailed article from an interview with our managing director, Peter Bergs, that was published on the Sun Connect website last week over here

18.10.2017, Interview with Peter Bergs from Specialized Solar Systems, Business Member of Sun-Connect News Company Database

peter"Human capital takes time to develop, to change mindsets and influence work ethic" - Peter Bergs, Managing Director

Based in South Africa, Specialized Solar Systems offers innovative products and turnkey renewable energy solutions for the agricultural, residential and commercial sectors throughout Africa; specializing in application-specific design, accurate energy assessments, installation services, training, and strong product support.

The implementation of sustainable solar energy solutions that empower indigent and disconnected communities is the heartbeat of the company’s operations with many successful projects completed.


SC News: What is your experience: which product, beyond lighting, customers request the most? And which other appliances for Solar-Home-Systems you think should be provided in future?

Peter Bergs: From our experience in the commercial sector, it is certainly grid-tied solar systems; and for the residential sector, off-grid and hybrid solar systems. The agricultural sector largely requests grid-tied and solar water pumping solutions.

For people in underserviced energy sectors following the fundamental human energy need for basic electrical lighting, which could be a torch or a single light, the request is generally for an energy source that will support cell phone charging and basic media entertainment such as a radio or television.

Working at the electrification frontier, we offer intelligent cloud-managed solar energy stations or micro-grids that power well-priced and attractively packaged appliances to the underserviced, indigent and disconnected sectors. Our packages include extremely efficient DC electrical appliances and cover the very basic energy appliances such as lighting and cell phone charging,

SC News: Right now, we see a huge focus on pay-as-you-go sale in the off-grid sector. How do you see the further development of this type of business?

Peter Bergs: Specialized Solar Systems provides a secure and integrated online platform for solar energy management which has features such as remote system monitoring, client billing, vendor management, customer notifications and automated system switching.

This framework incorporates a variety of payment or billing packages that work with upfront payments for solar energy usage. Once set up, a billing package is allocated to a SHS and the framework performs a completely automated pay-for-energy-usage debit function.

We anticipated the need for a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) billing plan which has proven to be very successful and allows our distributors and micro-utilities the flexibility of structuring varied amounts of payment bundles. This method has proven to be very effective with incentive-based billing structures for the demographics we deal with, who are extremely price-sensitive. It also allows an end-user to pay for the duration of the energy supply.


SC News: The market in developing countries is often influenced by local corruption, insecure governmental policies, bureaucratic hurdles for customs clearance. Which obstacle is/was for your business the most challenging one - and why?

Peter Bergs: We anticipated the challenges and obstacles came as no surprise and were dealt with as they occurred, often in a random manner.

What was anticipated as expectations for corruption was re-directed and the focus placed on additional value added outside of the framework of the contractual obligation and scope of work. An emphasis was placed on making training available, accommodating a much wider group interested in alternative energy. This included the unschooled, young and old with a clear directive that it was foundation building for those who wanted to take the training further in future.

Second to this, short term employment opportunities were created where possible (catering, driving, meeting facilitation, etc.) and opportunities for shadowing our skilled technical staff were facilitated.

Where possible, attention was given to local procurement and the needs of the community were identified for upgrading assistance (orphanages, creche and day care facilities. In some instances, well placed lights were installed in areas previously avoided at night, creating a safer environment.

This mindset and resultant action most often broadened the goodwill with the community and by taking care to attribute these interventions to the local leaders involved, generated a feeling of gratitude towards them.