Solar photovoltaic

Fire safety in solar PV installations

BZE radio is joined by Alessandra Chiaramonte (Alex), Austin Smith & Zachary Hood  - an university student research team from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the US. They have recently completed a report on the effectiveness of DC isolators for fire safety in solar PV installations in Australia, in collaboration with The Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

Nigel Morris & Solar Supercharge

Beyond Zero talks to Nigel Morris, who is celebrating 23 years in solar energy, about the upcoming Solar Citizens Solar Supercharge conference. He is a wonderful advocate for the solar industry and consumer, has worked with Solar Citizens on a number of projects, also a prolific blogger.  He is currently CEO of retail solar company RoofJuice

Prof Martin Green UNSW

Prof Martin Green UNSW and Dr Scott Watkins talk record efficiency solar

Professor Martin Green, with Dr Mark Keevers, were finalists in the 2015 Eureka Awards for their world record breaking 40% efficiency solar photovoltaic cell. The efficiency was achieved splitting a single light beam to generate power from two different types of solar cell. Martin joins Dr Scott Watkins (formerly Stream Leader, Organic Photovoltaics, Materials Science and Engineering at CSIRO) to discuss the latest in silicon PV technology as well as some insights into the future and how the world's PV uptake has exceeded the IEA's forecasts. Don't miss this podcast!

Martin Green is currently a Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Director of the Australian National Energy Agency (ARENA) supported Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics. He was formerly a Director of CSG Solar, a company formed specifically to commercialise the University’s thin-film, polycrystalline-silicon-on-glass solar cell. His group's contributions to photovoltaics are well known including the development of the world’s highest efficiency silicon solar cells.

David Webster: first 1MW PV with Cloud Predictive Technology

Managing Director David Webster established Webster Power Company in 2012 to undertake investment and development in the Renewable and Energy Efficiency Sector.  David is leading an ARENA funded Australian-first solar energy project that uses Cloud Predictive Technology (CPT) to anticipate solar energy output has been launched in Karratha, WA, with $2.3 million in support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). first 1MW PV with Cloud Predictive Technology  

Tim Forcey MEI - Economic fuel switching

Tim Forcey is Energy Advisor at the University of Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI). 

The University of Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) has examined the future of domestic gas across the interconnected eastern-Australian gas market. 
Some of the numerous key findings of this important study include:

  • Gas demand peaked in 2012 and is forecast to decline in all sectors: electricity generation, the industrial/manufacturing sector, and in buildings.

  • Gas demand could fall to half of the 2012 peak by 2025.

  • Some householders can significantly reduce their energy bills by using efficient electrical appliances such as heat pumps (e.g. reverse cycle air conditioners) and induction cook tops instead of gas.

The MEI report says that large Victorian homes could save as much as $658 a year if they switched off gas heating and increasingly used air conditioners with "heat pump" technology in them. Tim Forcey, the report's author and energy adviser at the Melbourne Energy Institute will join us to present his key findings on why we should be fuel switching from gas to electricity. 

Download the MEI report here:

Switching off gas - An examination of declining gas demand in Eastern Australia.pdf

Tim's previous podcasts and presentations for BZE include:  

Tim Forcey Discussion Group Presentation: Switching off gas

Tim Forcey- NSW gas demand could halve in 10 years

Tim Forcey, Energy Advisor, The Melbourne Energy Institute

Do You Know What Your Home is Doing Right Now?

Tim Forcey has over 30 years of experience in industrial energy with ExxonMobil, BHP Billiton, and Jemena, including specific experience with assets such as the Bass Strait Joint Venture and the Queensland Gas Pipeline. During his time at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Tim led the publication of the 2011 Gas Statement of Opportunities, the 2012 South Australian Electricity Report, and the AEMO 100% Renewable Energy Study - Modelling Inputs and Assumptions.

With The University of Melbourne's Energy Institute (MEI), Tim has published reports and articles covering gas and electricity demand, gas-to-electricity fuel-switching, and pumped hydro energy storage technology and commercial applications. Tim has also worked part-time as a home energy consultant with the Moreland Energy Foundation – Positive Charge and has volunteered with the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and Beyond Zero Emissions. 

Tim ran some experiments at his own house and found that is cost $4.8/ day to heat his well-insulated house using gas (it would be ~$10/day for an average Melbourne house). He found that it cost $1.5/day by heating his house using heat pumps or reverse cycle airconditioners. 

Tim speaks to expert interviewer Richard Keech who is an engineer, consultant and author with particular interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Yasmina Dkhissi - PhD candidate University of Melbourne

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Yasmina Dkhissi holds a Master of Engineering from Lyon Engineering School of Chemistry, Physics and Electronics and a Master of Research from the University Claude Bernard of Lyon, in France. She is currently doing her PhD at the University of Melbourne and works in close collaboration with Monash University and the CSIRO. Her research focuses on the development of flexible thin film PV on polymer substrates. In particular, she is looking at device fabrication techniques and at practical industrial concerns such as the reproducibility, the manufacturing processability, and the stability of perovskite solar cells.

Yasmina talks to expert interviewer Richard Keech, an engineer, consultant and author with particular interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Luke Osborne - Reposit Power

Luke Osborne is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Reposit Power and has been an executive in the electricity industry for over a decade, previously working in Canada, USA, NZ and South Africa. Reposit is a Canberra based start-up which makes software that optimises the use of solar power and storage to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels. Luke joins Beyond Zero's Anthony and Matt in the studio in a follow up interview about how Reposit's intelligent software lets the consumer make the most out of changing electricity prices throughout the day and their solar Feed-in Tariffs. 

Luke Osborne - Reposit Power

In early May 2015 Reposit Power announced it is combining its GridCredits storage system with Tesla’s Powerwall Home Battery. Reposit Power's software links your solar and storage with their automated control which sells back to the grid when prices are high. This GridCredits consumers access to their own solar power overnight and at peak times, reducing their demand on the grid and allowing more solar to be used. It also allows energy to be sold back into the grid by placing bids into the market.

Reposit Power launched a Canberra based trial of GridCredits in late 2014, supported by $445,000 ARENA funding. It received a great deal of interest and Reposit now plans to offer GridCredits to Australian consumers as a commercial product in late 2015. 

Reposit Power was founded in 2012, a small tech start up company with big ideas based in Canberra, Australia. Luke Osborne joined Reposit in 2013 to lead the implementaton phase. Luke has been an executive in the electricity industry for over a decade. He was formerly COO in Australia’s most successful renewable energy company - Windlab. He has worked in the Canadian, USA, NZ and South African electricity systems.

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