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.

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

Solar Everywhere Recap with Dr Muriel Watt

Beyond Zero's Anthony & Matt are joined by solar expert and chair of the Australian PV Institute (APVI), Dr Muriel Watt, for the Solar Everywhere Recap show.

In our regular recap shows, we find a common thread in our previous interviews, play excerpts and weave a story in between.
Today's theme is Solar Everywhere. The incredible decline in the price of solar PV has made it an early favourite for the title of "Energy source of the 21st Century". Its success is not only taking energy generation to places it has never been, it is challenging the very nature of energy generation and distribution.
Today we are going to be exploring all the places where solar panels can now be found, and the innovative policy, marketing and finance models that are getting them there. Many of mechanisms we will discuss relate not just to solar PV, but that’s where we will keep our focus today

We recap interviews with Danny Kennedy, Glen Morris, Oliver Yates, Craig Morris and Mark Rayner.

Ian McLeod - CEO Ergon Energy

Ian McLeod is the CEO of Ergon Energy in Queensland, Director of the Energy Supply Association and formerly on the state electricity commission of Victoria.

Ergon Energy is an electricity retailer to homes and businesses in regional Queensland.  Who are responsible for maintaining and expanding the regional Queensland electricity network.

Today in this extended interview Matt Grantham and Anthony Daniele discuss the infrastructure costs associated with running one of the most dispersed grids in the developed world and how roof top solar and battery storage is being increasing used as a way of reducing costs for Qld tax payers. We also discuss the need and likely success of a recent attempt to get a new coal fired power station established in Townsville.

Matt Grantham has written a series of articles in Climate Spectator on this topic.

Queensland flirts with a capacity catastrophe

The alternative options for North Queensland baseload

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