IT WEIGHS about 80kg and could be about to change the way the Coast uses energy forever.
The Power Block, a renewable battery designed by local firm Enopte is hoped to transform the energy market, enabling power to be stored and reliably delivered, opening up electricity options to home and business owners.
From remaining on the electricity grid to going entirely off-grid or a combination of both, Enopte CEO Mark Leckenby said the Power Block was a game-changer in that it delivered a reliable storage source for renewable energy.
"It's very disruptive to the power network," he said of the technology which was officially launched in Coolum today.
The ingenious battery can be installed into a cabinet system, weighing about 500kg, which can sit in the garage of a home, providing a full renewable system to the home enabling a property to go off-grid.
The Enopte team has developed a diagnostic cloud-based program to monitor in real-time the performance of the battery and the state of the lithium cells, the system also enabling remote access to ensure peak performance of the system.
For example a hot water system can be turned off in order to save power, with the diagnostic system updating every minute to give real-time snapshots to ensure battery cell manufacturers were also accountable for battery performance.
They've already carried out about 1000 installations as they look to turn what once was daytime-only solar power into a reliable, 24/7 energy system.
Enopte has trialled its systems with a number of organisations including Ergon Energy, Logan City Council, the Queensland Government, IGA/Subway stores and are even looking at having its systems rolled out globally on United Nations food banks.
Mr Leckenby said a recent installation last year in a new Coffs Harbour development had proven more reliable than the power grid on a number of occasions and work had been ongoing to reduce the cost of the units.
Peer-to-peer trading is also envisaged as part of the program, enabling people to sell excess power stored back into the grid while the systems would be live-connected to energy tariffs, to try and minimise users having to buy power in peak periods.
In the second quarter of next year 100 Sunshine Coast homes will trial the Power Block systems before the company's full Australian launch with All Energy in Melbourne.
"We're a small company punching well above our weight," Mr Leckenby said.
Division 9 Councillor Steve Robinson said the clean-tech sector was one of the seven pillars of the region's future economy and he was excited by the advances made by the Enopte team.
"The potential is for many homes on the Sunshine Coast to go off-grid," Cr Robinson said.
He said taking properties off grid would also have an added benefit of extending the lifespan of current electricity infrastructure with less pressure on the network.
Mr Leckenby said systems were starting from about $15,000 and there were different system sizes available to suit various home sizes, with hopes of a PPA agreement in place with the Power Block system in the near future to ensure installation at no initial outlay.
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