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Thailand Energy Minister Dr Siri Jirapongphan with Redflow batteries at Ban Pha DanThailand Energy Minister Dr Siri Jirapongphan with Redflow batteries at Ban Pha DanRedflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries are now storing solar energy to provide a reliable power supply for a remote village in mountainous northern Thailand that has long lacked electricity.

In a project backed by the Thai Government, the village of Ban Pha Dan in Lamphun province is using solar cells to harvest energy and a high-performance hybrid battery system, including ZBM2s, to store energy for a village microgrid that is separated from the national electricity distribution network.

Ban Pha Dan, 70km south of the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, is a small village that has lacked access to electricity because it is surrounded by a wildlife reserve where power poles are forbidden. This microgrid project was initiated by Thailand’s Energy Ministry and the Renewable Energy for Sustainable Association with financial support from the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund.

Thailand’s Energy Minister Dr Siri Jirapongphan visited Ban Pha Dan to inspect the new microgrid and energy storage system in mid-January. Later that month, the Thailand National Energy Policy Council, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, approved Thailand’s Power Development Plan, which prioritises the development of renewable energy sources for the period 2018-2037. Dr Jirapongphan said that non-fossil energy would account for 35 per cent of total capacity by 2037. 

Max Schubert
Overwhelmed. Humbled.  Two words ricocheting around the world of wine writer Philip White. Even those Whitey has glared at with gimlet eye and wounded by the rat-a-tat of his keyboard have come forward with offers of assistance, including cash. 
 
Then there are mates like award-winning photographer Milton Wordley, who has been a lightning rod for the volunteer squad meeting Whitey’s (almost!) every need as he undergoes punishing cancer treatment. 
 
Milton causes goodwill to pour in from all angles. And so came to pass last week Milt's blog, People of Wine: 10 Questions, broadcasting news about the Langtons Fine Wines online wine auction for Whitey’s medical and other expenses.
 
More Samaritans got struck by blog lightning. One of them is Sandie Coff, daughter of Penfold’s legend Max Schubert (pictured above).  Result: A donated bottle of 1976 Grange signed by Max, who was a great mate and mentor to Whitey.
 
There's still time to bid in the auction, which contains many rare wines, until it closes at 8pm on Tuesday, February 5. Check them out by clicking on Philip White Fundraiser auction. To make a cash donation, contact Milton directly.
 
To read Chapter Two of The Whitey Chronicles - Robbie Brechin's biography of wine writer Philip White to be published later this year by Wakefield Press - click here or visit Robbie's blog at www.robbiebrechin.com.
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Humbug Club 04 670x536

For those who are of a certain age (that is, older than me), you may have wondered whatever happened to Thor Fingers, the drug-addled, burnt-out Viking lead guitarist/columnist from The Advertiser in the early to mid '80s.

Well, the good news is he's back from rehab, courtesy of Robbie Brechin who has just published a blog at www.robbiebrechin.

Robbie's first subject is iconoclastic wine writer Philip White, about whom he is writing a biography. Click here to read Robbie's post on Whitey, with an introduction by Milton Wordley.

 

 

 

Australian energy storage company Redflow Limited (ASX: RFX) has won a follow-up sale of 32 zinc-bromine flow batteries to provide standby energy storage for mobile phone towers in South Africa.

This second sale follows an initial order last month for five batteries for use at mobile phone towers run by a leading South African telecommunication company. The towers are owned by a local company that is supported by the South African Government’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) affirmative action agenda.

Redflow CEO Tim Harris, who received the new order after a visit to South Africa last week, said it clearly demonstrated the technological and commercial viability of Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries for telecommunication deployments. “Our batteries thrive on heat and hard work, which is what these sites in South Africa require.  Following yesterday’s Optus announcement, today’s new sale further highlights the value proposition that Redflow’s ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries deliver to telecommunications companies, both in Australia and overseas,” he said.