ZBB Energy Corporation is an energy company engaged in researching the manufacture of energy storage systems for utility companies, renewable energy generators, and commercial and industrial customers. ZBB Energy was formed in 1998 in Wisconsin as a holding company for its subsidiaries in the United States and Australia.
The ZBB zinc energy storage systems (ZESS) can be used by a variety of clients. Traditional energy companies need reliable systems to store surplus energy generated during off-peak periods, which is primarily during the summer months for highly populated areas like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. With more companies and private citizens using alternative energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines, there is a growing need for storage devices to keep the power available for customers who are “on” and “off” the grid. Then there are industrial or commercial organizations that need an uninterrupted power supply and power quality protection from voltage, current, or frequency deviations.
The ZESS units are built around the company’s propriety zinc-bromine rechargeable electrical energy storage technology, which is then combined with computer hardware and software systems. The turnkey energy storage systems are developed to interface with a customer’s primary power source to recharge during off-peak periods and to discharge power when necessary.
ZBB offers two standard configurations, the ZESS 50 and the ZESS 500, which are both self-contained and provide fully automated control systems to take care of the energy storage and safety functions. The modules are mobile and scalable into a fully customized system based upon a client’s needs. Currently, the manufacturing facility has a production capacity of fifty (ZESS 50) modules per month. To put its capability into prospective, a ZESS 50 unit holds 50 kWh and has the ability to provide a typical home with power for two days.
ZBB has gained attention through the installation of one of its ZESS 50 units to the Future House USA Project at the Beijing Olympics. This is the first installation of a ZESS 50 unit in a residential application and will allow the home -which will be on display for the next six years – to operate completely off the electrical grid. The Future House USA is expecting over three million people to tour the facility, including the president of the United States.
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