It’s a breakthrough so staggeringly simple the patent office needed convincing it counted as an invention. In what Professor Thomas Nann jokingly told pv magazine Australia basically equates to adding dishwashing liquid and oil to water, he and two of his former PhD students have unlocked the potential of water-based electrolytes for batteries, promising a solution that is cheaper, easier to manufacture and non-toxic. The startup plans to initially use the formula in supercapacitors before exploring it in conjunction with redox flow batteries.
Solar power is already the cheapest form of electricity generation, and its cost will continue to fall as more improvements emerge in the technology and its global production. Now, new research is exploring what could be another major turning point in solar cell manufacturing.
The University of Wollongong has secured $5 million in federal government funding to establish a renewable energy focused training centre which will address the “complex and challenging issues” currently limiting the growth of renewables, including solar PV and wind energy in Australia.
According to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hydrogen-fired gas plants will compete with lithium-ion storage for seasonal storage and their competitiveness will strictly depend on the heat rate of the gas power plants they may replace.
The Australian National University today opened its Distributed Energy Resources Lab, dedicated to researching and testing technologies including batteries, solar panels and electric vehicles which it says will “underpin the energy grids of the future”.
Saudi scientists have tested several cooling technologies for solar panels and have found that active techniques work better than passive ones under harsh climatic conditions. The most effective one consists of a system based on four heat pipes immersed in a box of liquid, as liquid bulk, integrated with the back of the solar panel.
The federal government has awarded $5 million to the CSIRO to deliver a hydrogen research, development and demonstration program aimed at strengthening hydrogen knowledge both domestically and in cooperation with our international partners.
Deakin University has received funding for two multi-million dollar facilities, one devoted to advanced battery research and the second for the development of hydrogen technology. The projects’ aims will be to overcome hydrogen’s hurdles and, for batteries, to improve existing technologies while also investigating sustainable alternatives like sodium batteries.
The promise of solar windows have captivated scientists and engineers for decades. Now, West Australian company ClearVue says it not only has a fully transparent, scalable, industry-ready solar window in production, but it’s just 18 months away from cracking 5% efficiency, thanks to a research partnership.
Wood MacKenzie’s energy transition modelling is predicting a primacy in the future low-carbon hydrogen economy for Australia. Thanks to the country’s solar irradiance and renewable energy expertise, as well as its relative proximity to major off-taker markets, Australia could be looking at export revenues of up to US$90 billion by 2050.
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