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Trialling sodium-ion batteries in Sydney Water pump stations

Bondi Sewage Pump Station Solar PV and Storage


Sydney Water


Bondi Beach, NSW

About The Project

The ‘Smart Sodium Storage Project’ was a $10.6 million initiative to trial Sodium-Ion Battery Packs as a cheaper alternative to the traditional lithium-ion batteries. The project was led by University of Wollongong energy storage researchers in collaboration with Sydney Water and ARENA.

As part of the battery trial, the Sydney Water pump station SP0055 at North Bondi was fitted with just over 6kW of PV modules and a 30kVA 30kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The system’s performance has been closely monitored as the base case to be potentially used in other renewable energy initiatives. After a period of data collection, the batteries will be replaced with the University of Wollongong developed Sodium-Ion Batteries, and a purpose-built battery management system.

CNF was engaged to design and install the solar battery system.

Major Achievements

Project Innovations

  • Integration into the existing pump station control system and Sydney Water standards.
  • Installing the battery system ‘inline’ downstream of the main switch and upstream of all other components, without changing the physical layout of the switch-board’s main switch, which is intentionally kept consistent throughout all Sydney Water pump stations.
  • Designing a bypass switch arrangement that would work under any conditions (battery or grid powered).
  • A visual requirement was for the PV modules not to extend past the external building façade, while the roof was covered in elevated skylight plinths, and anchor points that had to be circumnavigated.

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