Technology and R&D

MagniX powers forward with electric light commercial aircraft plans

Solar PV is boosting regional economies by providing cheaper electricity to off-grid or edge-of-grid communities and industries; soon it could power cheaper electric aviation services. In three years, Gold Coast company MagniX expects to be selling a commercially available certified electric aircraft engine that will reduce the cost of flying light commercial aircraft by between 50% and 80% per operating hour.

ANU researchers eliminate interlayer in tandem solar cells

Engineers from the Australian National University, in collaboration with researchers from and the California Institute of Technology, have developed a way to combine silicon PV material with perovskites to achieve higher efficiencies and lower production costs.

Greatcell Solar enters administration

Perovskite solar cell specialist Greatcell Solar has failed to secured refinancing for its activities and has been forced to appoint administrators. The company lays the blame at the federal government’s door, pointing to the R&D rebate changes and policy settings that are unsupportive of renewable energy investment as the reasons behind its downfall.

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Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better

NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves.

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UNSW Sunswift solar car sets Guinness World Record for efficiency

The UNSW Sunswift solar car team has set a new record for the lowest energy consumption while driving across Australia in an electric car. The team completed the journey between Perth and Sydney two days ahead of schedule with the car’s energy consumption on the journey came in well below the previous record.

UNSW, Leadmicro to partner on ALD for PERC production

UNSW Sydney has partnered with Leadmicro to develop the next generation of PERC solar cells and fast-track their time to market. The Chinese PV production machinery manufacturer is donating $1 million Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) reactor to UNSW to test and adapt a new process for PERC cell solar cell production.

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World first base for Airbus solar powered pseudo-satellite launches in WA

The world’s first Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating base has been officially established in the north of Western Australia. The unmanned aerial vehicle, running exclusively on solar power, will be operating out of Wyndham with the goal to provide observation and communications services to a range of customers.

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Australia’s first hydrogen test station opens in Canberra

ACT gas network operator Evoenergy and the Canberra Institute of Technology have partnered to build a first of its kind hydrogen test facility at CIT Fyshwick. The station will test up to 100% hydrogen in deployments in which natural gas is currently used.

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Lithium Australia produces li-ion batteries from mine waste

The ASX-listed company which aspires to ‘close the loop’ on the energy-metal cycle has successfully produced lithium-ion batteries from tri-lithium phosphate sourced directly from a mine dump. It has also reported outstanding results in lithium recovery in excess of 90%, using its SiLeach process at the ANSTO Minerals pilot plant in New South Wales.

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CSIRO, Fortescue enter into hydrogen partnership

Iron ore giant Fortescue Metals Group will invest $20 million into hydrogen research at Australian national science agency CSIRO’s Brisbane laboratories. The partnership aims to develop new technologies, create jobs, and capitalise on the economic opportunities associated with hydrogen.

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