Originally published on RenewEconomy
by Sophie Vorrath
Queensland University’s commercialisation division, UniQuest, has taken a stake in local energy storage management company Redback Technologies, as part of an agreement aimed at accelerating the roll-out of Redback’s solar energy storage and management technologies.
Under the agreement, Redback will be able to access UQ’s solar energy assets for testing and demonstration purposes, as well as future cutting edge energy research from throughout the university, in return for UniQuest taking an equity position the Indooroopilly-based company.
Redback, formed in 2015, is a product of the Queensland government and UQ-led “ilab initiative,” which aimed to attract and assist start-up companies to become world changing global businesses.
Its Smart Hybrid System, pictured above, uses advanced hybrid inverter technology to connect a household’s rooftop solar system with battery storage and manage communication between the two, allowing households to either store the solar power for personal use or sell it back to the grid.
Redback’s founder and Managing Director, Philip Livingston, said that by matching the use of appliances, with the solar output and storage capabilities, the return on investment can be nearly halved (in terms of years) – even for off-grid installations.
“The energy revoltion is not technology revolution or a hardware revolution. It is not just about batteries, it is a nexus with the internet of things …. (that provides) consumers with levels of energy choice that they do not have now,” he told the Queensland Energy Storage conference.
Redback says the technology is compatible with lead acid and lithium ion battery technology and can accommodate a battery capacity range of between 1.2kWh to 120kWh.
The new research partnership agreement will see joint projects expanded and the rapid commercialisation of UQ’s energy storage research insights from various disciplines across the university, including engineering, science, computer science and economics.
Livingston said the company’s decision to locate itself in Queensland had proved highly successful.“Establishing ourselves at ilab has really helped us maintain an innovative start-up culture while accessing the research excellence with UQ,” Livingston said.
“The partnership with UQ will enable Redback to provide customised downstream software benefits to prospective clients including energy retailers, network service providers, telco’s and solar installation companies, as a means of enabling the next generation grid to take form.”