Solar photovoltaic

Partnership promises to help Australian households move to zero emissions

By Jessie Richardson. Property Observer, December 11 2014

A new project from a network of organisations wants to help Australians cut their energy bills - to $0.

The Energy Freedom alliance provides home owners with information about how to achieve net zero energy emissions.

A number of the partner businesses, which include Cherry LED and Energy Matters Solar, are also offering discounts and rewards as part of the Energy Freedom project. The venture is headed by Beyond Zero Emissions, a subscriber funded not-for-profit which works with the University of Melbourne's Energy Research Institute.

Ken Munson & Philip Keogan - Sunverge brings solar & storage to our new bi-directional distributed grid!


There is a fundamental shift happening in the electricity market. With distributed storage and the ubiquity of cloud based software solutions, Californian startup Sunverge is offering a solar & storage solution creating a bi-directional flow of information and energy which is changing the way we use the traditional one-way grid.  

Beyond Zero's Anthony Daniele is joined in the studio by Sunverge Co-founder, President and CEO Ken Munson and Philip Keogan, Sunverge GM Australia and New Zealand (and formerly an executive at Ergon Energy) to talk about this new "internet of energy". 

Hayden Smith - Sunswift - 1st road legal solar car

Project manager Hayden Smith leads Sunswift, a team of University of New South Wales (UNSW) engineering students, undertaking a most ambitious goals: Making eVe the Southern Hemisphere’s 1st road legal solar passenger car. The team has been working hard in the hopes of officially registering with the Roads & Maritime Services as early as March 2015. Making eVe road legal is a huge task requiring a major redesign and rebuild of almost every aspect of the car. The resources and engineering effort required is considerable and Hayden and the team ran a successful crowd funding campaign to .

Sunswift eVe is the fifth generation solar car designed and built by the UNSW Solar Racing Team, Sunswift. Built for practicality, speed, and endurance, eVe is the embodiment of Australian innovation and design. Originally created for the 2013 World Solar Challenge – Cruiser Class, eVe sets a new standard for sustainable transportation, offering high performance, efficiency, comfort and style – all powered directly from the sun.

Related podcasts:

UNSW Sunswift solar car takes line honours

Dr David Finn - Australian Tritium EV chargers exporting to the world

Dr Scott Watkins - Pollinate Energy

Dr Scott Watkins is a Technology developer, science communicator and formerly Research Leader for Thin Film Photovoltaics in CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship. He has appeared previously on the Beyond Zero show talking about his CSIRO research into developing organic Photovoltaic cells. This time Scott joins to talk about his new venture, that is with Pollinate Energy, a social enterprise whose mission is to:
Improve the lives of India’s urban poor by giving them access to sustainable products that make their lives better.

Dr Ashraf Uddin UNSW

Dr Ashraf Uddin is an Associate Professor in the world renowned School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW. The Beyond Zero team is also joined by expert guest interviewer Dr Scott Watkins who also specialises in organic PV.

Dr Uddin and Dr Watkins discuss the advantages of organic PV over traditional silicon PV, increasing efficiencies using tandem or stacked solar cells, the emergence of a new class of solar cell based on mixed organic-inorganic halide perovskite cells, comparisons of OPV with OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes), the negative effects of oxygen and moisture on lifetimes of OLEDs and OPV, light trapping techniques, future applications and the opportunity to commercially develop OPV technology. Dr Uddin is also course coordinator for the UNSW degree in PV and talks about the career prospects around the world.

Dr Uddin's Research Interests include:

    Organic Solar Cells 
    Photovoltaic device physics, design and characterisation
    Dye-sensitised Solar Cells
    Organic-inorganic hybrid Photovoltaic
    New Concepts of photovoltaic

UNSW researchers set world record in solar energy efficiency

Dr Cameron Stanley RMIT

Dr Cameron Stanley is a Research Fellow in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT University.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells typically convert between 15-20% of the incident sunlight into electrical energy and dissipate the remaining energy as heat. Hybrid photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) collectors use a fluid flowing adjacent to the PV cells to collect some of this dissipated heat and transfer it as useful energy e.g. for domestic hot water. As well as collecting heat energy, which would be otherwise wasted, the fluid serves to cool the PV cells and enhance their electrical performance.

RMIT is currently developing a hybrid PVT receiver suitable for linear concentrators, which aims to produce a thermal output of 150ºC and an electrical yield of around 9%. To achieve these temperatures a technique known as spectral beam splitting is used. The high grade thermal output from these receivers is intended to be used for industrial heat processes as well as absorption chillers.

Dr Scott Watkins

Dr Scott Watkins is a Technology developer and communicator and formerly Stream Leader, Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs) at CSIRO. Dr Watkins joins Beyond Zero's Anthony and Matt to talk about the science of organic PV and its future applications. He also touches on his new work in bringing his research to market.

Clinton Wood - Lighthouse Infrastructure leading solar financing

Clinton Wood of Lighthouse Infrastructure talks about how private investment is being leveraged for renewable energy projects, and the challenges and risks of developing this further.

Clinton Wood is Chief Operating Officer at Lighthouse Infrastructure was established in 2007 as an independent firm, based in Melbourne, Australia, focusing on the investment needs of institutional investors in traditional infrastructure and alternative assets. Lighthouse, working with Impact Investment Group, has established the $250 million Fund to provide opportunities to invest in a portfolio of solar assets.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced $20 million in support for a program funded by the Solaire Income Fund. See Press Release and Fact Sheet here. This funding is for a program by Tindo Solar – the only Australian manufacturer of solar PV panels - offering a PPA product to commercial and residential customers. Lighthouse also helped win CEFC funding for a 3.1MW major expansion of Australian company Epuron’s Northern Territory solar power station.

Clinton talks about other policies such as the RET and ARENA. He warns that without the LRET, the price for solar PPA's could go up by 10c/kWh, making it economically unviable. 

Stefan Jarnason - Solar Analytics

Stefan Jarnason reflects on his long history in the solar industry, particularly with pioneer Suntech, and tells about his new venture giving solar owners unprecedented accuracy on the long term perfoamce of their investment.

Stefan Jarnason is Managing Director, Solar Analytics and Technical Director, Suntech Australia. Stefan recently presented at the 2014 All Energy Conference in Melbourne in October. 

He discusses how solar is reducing electricity prices for all consumers and is offering comsumers a whole energy package which allows for long term storage, load shifting, monitoring and more. 

Solar Analytics was born out of PV manufacturer Suntech in 2011 and is a unique solar monitoring product that uses sophisticated algorithms to analyse the energy generated by a PV system, and compare this to the calculated energy yield based on the PV system parameters and daily weather conditions. These algorithms intelligently assess how well a PV system is performing, and inform the system owner so that underperforming systems can be rectified in a timely manner.

Solar Analytics offers you alternative user-friendly solutions to better understand your system's performance. Through faster fault identification and rectification, your solar PV system's lifetime energy generation can be increased by 15-20%.

Stefan also talks about some of the new ideas that impressed him at All Energy. He refers to BZE researcher Richard Keech's presentation on 'PV vs solar hot water'. 

Nigel Morris - The Rise & Rise of Solar Power in Australia

In today's Community Show Podcast (broadcast on Mon 12 May 2014), we feature an edited version of a recent BZE Discussion Group presentation by Australia's foremost solar industry expert, Nigel Morris.

Presentation Audio

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