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Research

Improving PV-powered water electrolysis with external fields

Australian researchers have analysed different ways to improve the efficiency of PV-powered water electrolysis for hydrogen generation. They include the use of magnetic fields, light energy, ultrasonic fields, and pulsating electric fields. Energy costs remain prohibitive, but molecular movement and the redistribution of molecules in water during electrolysis could open a path to viability.

Green ammonia breakthrough a potential boon for solar-powered exports

Chemical engineers at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney have made a significant technological breakthrough in the development of green ammonia. The breakthrough could not only alter the global ammonia industry, but more easily use solar to produce green ammonia for export to countries like Japan and Germany instead of straight hydrogen.

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VIC Govt funds experiment to test benefits of solar in orchard farming

Unlike other nations with more limited land and faster growing populations, Australia has not yet understood the symbiotic benefits which accrue when solar PV and agriculture are combined. This week, the Victorian Government announced its Horticulture Solar Energy program and $5 million in funding for the Tatura SmartFarm to experiment with solar atop a pear orchard.

Complementary hybrid PV systems can reduce reliance on storage

Looking back over years of research into the topic of hybrid systems based on different combinations of solar, wind, hydro and other renewables, an international group of scientists found strong potential for strategies to exploit complementarity between the different sources integrate more intermittent renewables onto regional and national grids. The scientists present a series of conclusions and recommendations that aim to push research in hybrid renewables forward.

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Australian researchers to set solar PV pace following $4.5 million funding boost

Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) will look to “set the pace” with the development of next-generation solar cell technology after receiving a $4.5 million funding boost.

New method to build microgrids based on solar, hydrogen

The use of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells as backup power generation in solar microgrids could drive down costs and improve efficiency, according to an international group of researchers. They have proposed a new energy management system that could be ideal for hybrid solar-hydrogen microgrids in remote locations.

Australian research improves the scope and efficiency of PV light sensitisers

Australian scientists have developed an algorithm to increase both the efficiency and compatibility of light sensitisers in solar panels, encompassing silicon cells for the first time.

2020 Year in Review

Soon 2020 will only be a worry to future high-school history students. But when they ask us if anything good at all happened in 2020, remember this review and tell them that solar PV shone in the darkness. Despite the mess of it all, 2020 has been another good year for Australian solar. The industry has demonstrated resilience, and significant progress has been made in the fields of energy storage, green hydrogen and others.

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Improving PV-based hydrogen generation with loss‐mitigation techniques

Australian scientists have demonstrated two loss-mitigation techniques that could improve solar‐to‐hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiencies and may lay the ground for cheaper PV-powered hydrogen generation. By combining the two techniques, they were able to achieve an STH efficiency of around 19.4% at realistic operating temperatures.

Australia’s leading solar research centre gets majorly overdue $19 million grant

For the first time in years, the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (APAC) has received a major grant. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has funded APAC to the tune of $19 million with the goal of reasserting Australia’s place at the forefront of solar technology and accelerating the competitiveness of renewable energy.

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