Monthly Discussion Group

The monthly BZE Discussion Group is an opportunity to hear from and question experts leading climate change solutions. Topics vary from renewable energy techincal innovations to social and political action. The event is generally held on the first Monday of every month at 6:30pm at the University of Melbourne.

6:30pm Monday 1 August - Dan Cass - Battery Technology Charges Ahead

Battery Technology Charges Ahead

The Australia Institute (TAI) strategist and report author, Dan Cass, will speak about his recent report titled, Securing renewables - How batteries solve the problem of clean electricity.

Lithium battery prices have fallen by 93% between 1995 and 2014, which threatens coal and gas generators with competition and Australian networks are already testing large-scale battery storage. 1.5 million Australian households have invested in rooftop solar on their homes and this research shows that over 80% of those households are considering buying batteries to boost their array.  

Dan Cass is strategist at The Australia Institute and an honorary associate at Sydney Business School. He has advised energy companies, politicians and NGOs.    

6:30 - 8pm Monday 1 August 2016

McCoy Building
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry: Gold coin donation
Thank you to the University of Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI), our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.
Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm.  

Tim Forcey: How to cheaply and comfortably heat your home with renewable energy

How to cheaply and comfortably heat your home with renewable energy

Tim Forcey presents how your home, business or institution can Save money and be part of the fuel-switching revolution!

As has been widely reported in The AGE and elsewhere, Tim's University of Melbourne research found that switching from gas could create huge money saving opportunities for home owners, renters, and even small businesses. A large Victoria household could be saving up to $658 a year, simply by turning on existing reverse-cycle air conditioners for winter heating.

The research is particularly relevant as the Victorian government decides whether or not to open up the state to broad-scale unconventional gas mining.

The humble air conditioner may well be the disruptive technology, sitting under our nose, that could heat our homes for less while protecting our local environment and communities from the dangers of unconventional gas mining.

Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here    to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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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.

Karl Fitzgerald presents Economics for Campaigners

Economist, radio personality and Project Director of Prosper Australia , Karl Fitzgerald presents:

Economics101 for Campaigners

Discover the best ways to protest against monopoly power and win an economic argument with a politician. Learn about land value capture  - the traditional method of financing infrastructure that can fund BZE's High Speed Rail transport plan. Karl has many insights on best practices from around the world. How could this be applied to the Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel? Then he will move onto how a more holistic economic analysis can help wind farm developments. What are the economic drivers dividing communities? How can we all win?

Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here   to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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Read Karl’s landmark Total Resource Rents of Australia to define the sort of future tax system needed. 

Karl Fitzgerald hosts the Renegade Economists program on Melbourne's 3CR community radio, as well as a number of other projects. Not-for-profit, Prosper is a part of a worldwide network working for economic justice, who focus on the effect of land speculation upon the business cycle. Earthsharing Australia provides education services in economics, demonstrating the urgent need for the capture of the naturally rising value of the earth for public benefit. Earthsharing is the sister organisation to Prosper Australia.  

Andrew Reddaway: Recent battery research at the ATA

Many householders looking to install solar panels are also now considering battery storage. With Feed-in Tariff schemes ending in some Australian states soon, existing solar owners are also upgrading with batteries to store the solar energy they generate during the day. The combination of high electricity prices and abundant sunshine makes Australia a world leader for the battery market.  But are the economics and benefits of investing in batteries ready now?

Andrew Reddaway, Energy Analyst at the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), presents his recent battery research including; 

-          Economics of batteries for households.

-          How green are batteries & solar?

-          Battery-enabled Sunulator.

Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here  to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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Charles Rendigs: Insulation and Cool Roof Paint for Commercial Energy Efficiency

Charles Rendigs, Manager at Thermoshield, will present energy efficiency case studies through commercial building projects. Efficient building envelope solutions were shown to be the lowest hanging fruit for energy savings in BZE's Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan research report and these practical solutions are now being implemented around Australia in the spin-off Energy Freedom project.

Thermoshield's innovative insulating cool roof paint products have been tested by CSIRO and University of Melbourne and are proven to reduce internal temperatures up to 45% and to reduce cooling costs up to 40%. Charles will present heat and thermodynamics theory such as reflectance, emissivity, radiant heat and show how this cool roof paint works just as well in winter, as in summer. Charles has many years experience, particularly in commercial buildings energy efficieny projects. 

 Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here  to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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100% Renewable Energy and how YOU can make it happen!

2016 is the year to make our politicians turn words into Climate Action!

After a record attendance year in 2015, we kick off the 2016 BZE Discussion Group series at the University of Melbourne, learning about how we can get involved in the various climate action campaigns around Australia. Post Paris climate talks, we have lots to do! Zero Emissions in 10 years, 100% Renewables, Zero Carbon plans, Replace Hazelwood, Renewable Energy Super Power and much more, all in a federal election year. We have three amazing speakers:

Ellen Sandell is the Greens state MP for Melbourne

Adrian Whitehead is National Campaign Manager for Save the Planet

Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO Beyond Zero Emissions

Yasmina Dkhissi presents Low-cost PV: Perovskite thin films?

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Low-cost PV: Perovskite thin films?

Perovskite solar cells are widely touted to be the next generation in solar technology.

Yasmina Dkhissi will talk about perovskite solar cells and why this solar PV technology is attracting a great deal of interest in the solar community. Yasmina recently completed her PhD with the University of Melbourne on the development of low-cost PV. She also 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, France. During her PhD, she worked on the development of flexible thin film PV. In particular, she focused on device fabrication techniques and on practical industrial concerns such as the reproducibility, the manufacturing processability, and the stability of perovskite solar cells. She has recently started a Research Position with Monash University where she will investigate tandem perovskite/silicon solar cells.

 Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here     to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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Andrew Lamb- MagEfekt battery technology

MagEfekt is an Australian engineering consultancy who have developed revolutionary manufacturing techniques to offer the most robust range of purpose-built lithium-ion batteries in the market.  MagEfekt specialise in designing, building and manufacturing battery packs to meet specific customer requirements, right here in Melbourne. MagEfekt aims to produce energy dense batteries for both mobile and stationary applications.

Engineer Andrew Lamb will present a comparison on various battery chemistries and explain why lithium-ion technologies, such as MagEfekt's Tardis battery, are superior. Andrew will also cover general energy storage concepts and the importance of system sizing for your particular application.

 Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here    to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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Further Reading:
Presentation Slides (PDF- 1Mb)

Sunvertec Australian AC optimisers

In a world first, Perth engineering company Sunvertec has developed an AC optimser that is installed on each solar PV panel (like a microinverter). Sunvertec AC optimisers have broken the 99% efficiency barrier and now set its goal towards breaking the cost barrier of US$0.10/W before 2020. These records can be achieved because, unlike microinverters, each AC optimiser unit generates just a portion of the total AC waveform.

EXCLUSIVE! New video released TODAY on the inner workings of the Sunvertec system. See below.

After five years of R&D, founder Kevin Davies leads a family company of software developers and engineers who first revealed their technology at the Australian Solar Council's Solar 2015 conference in May. With many patents secured, Sunvertec is now planning commercial manufacturing in Perth. Kevin Davies is visiting Melbourne to speak at the All Energy Conference in the same week and BZE is very excited to welcome Kevin (electronics engineer) and son Alexander (software engineer) to present this Australian innovation in this discussion forum. Everyone welcome!  

 Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here      to view on the BZE YouTube channel

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