Australian flow battery innovator Redflow has announced it will launch a residential energy storage product in late March 2016, with the first installations completed by June.

This will put Redflow’s zinc bromine flow battery in direct competition with lithium-ion storage products from the likes of Tesla and Enphase. To date the Brisbane-based company has focused on niche applications such as telecommunications and off-grid remote power.

Though details of the appearance, pricing and performance of its home batteries are not yet available, Redflow says its products are cost-competitive with both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, as well as being more robust and having a longer expected lifespan.

Redflow Executive Chairman Simon Hackett said the company’s residential battery would be a plug-and-play solution that could easily be retrofitted to existing solar systems.

“Our goal is to deliver a battery that can be deployed rapidly on site with simple system integration. To support the retail delivery of energy systems using our batteries, we’re already working with installer partners to deploy initial “˜exemplar’ residential installations in a variety of settings.

“We will also introduce our first installation partners, outline integration testing with inverter/charger products and release the first Redflow Battery Management System, a browser-based tool to commission, configure, and interface our battery with multiple commercial inverters.

“We’ve already performed successful integration testing with products from Victron Energy while integration testing with various other inverter/charger products is under way.”

In its announcement to the ASX, Redflow also said it was eyeing international markets for its home battery.

Redflow CEO Stuart Smith said the announcement follows the completion of a successful end user trial in Africa, which resulted in an order for 50-150 batteries.

Redflow has been in the process of outsourcing its manufacturing to global giant Flextronics, which will allow the company to scale up production and remove any bottlenecks from the manufacturing process. The company says this transition is nearly complete, and battery production will begin ramping up after a number of trial production runs in March and April.