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Technology and R&D

Saturday read: Getting smart about solar

As solar PV increases its share in the world’s energy mix, it is becoming increasingly clear how valuable the data gathered from renewable energy generators is in informing important decisions about operation, maintenance and grid integration. Yazeed Al Mousa examines the latest applications for artificial intelligence in PV project development and operation.

Western Australia launches $35 million ‘symphony’ of residential renewable assets

Western Australia has today announced the launch of its $35.5 million Virtual Power Plant trial, Project Symphony, which will examine the ways in which residents, utilities, and network operators can join forces to centrally orchestrate the output of rooftop solar, batteries and other distributed resources to best serve both customers and the grid at large.

Sonnen launches residential battery specifically designed for Australia, marking shift in global strategy

German company sonnen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell, today launched a new residential battery storage system specifically developed for Australia and New Zealand. Chief Commercial Officer of sonnenGroup and Managing Director of sonnen Australia, Nathan Dunn, told pv magazine Australia its sonnenBatterie Evo is the culmination of a new approach and may go on to inform how its future products for global markets are developed.

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Grid-forming big battery breaks ground in South Australia

AGL has “broken ground” at Torrens Island power station in preparation for the construction of its 250 MW/250 MWh battery which has drawn interest for being the largest planned grid-forming battery in the world.

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Behind the price drops in lithium-ion batteries

Scientists in the United States pieced together data from hundreds of different sources, looking to establish the key factors that have led to consistently falling prices for lithium-ion technology since their commercialisation thirty years ago. They find that public-funded research, primarily in chemistry and materials science, has made the largest contribution to cost reduction. And they offer suggestions on policy and investment to ensure that the research can continue to make these important contributions to reduction in battery costs.

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Phase-change material tech to store thermal energy, solar electricity in buildings

NREL scientists have unveiled a storage system based on a phase-change material that can store both thermal energy and electricity in a single device. According to the researchers, the new technology may be used to store excess electricity produced by on-site solar or wind operations in large scale buildings.

California plans 400 MW / 3200 MWh compressed air energy storage project

Hydrostor’s plant would be able to deliver 400 MW of electricity for 8 hours, and would be comparable in size to some of California’s largest fossil fuel power plants.

Hyped hydrogen storage company opts to manufacture fuel cells near Brisbane

Queensland continues to attract massive hydrogen industry factories, with LAVO Hydrogen Technology today announcing it would establish a fuel cell manufacturing facility just south of Brisbane.

Queensland to build “common-user” vanadium processing plant

The Queensland government will put “at least” $10 million towards constructing a common-user facility to process vanadium from the state’s vast deposits, allowing multiple small mining operations to access the facility with the ambition of kickstarting downstream battery storage industries in the state.

UK business claims to have ‘world’s most sustainable lithium-ion battery’

English manufacturer Aceleron claims every component of its devices can be accessed for replacement, repair or recycling, with the business’ co-founder stating the aim is to ensure ‘100% of the materials in our batteries will continue to be used for as long as possible – preferably forever.’

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