AsianScientist (Nov. 22, 2016) – Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has partnered with leading Japanese manufacturer Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd to trial and develop new renewable energy technologies with the potential to make Queensland’s energy system significantly more efficient, robust and sustainable.
A demonstrator Sumitomo Electric concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system will be installed at the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Redlands Research Facility in Brisbane and operated and tested by QUT researchers.
Professor Ian Mackinnon, from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, said the partnership would complement and boost QUT’s existing renewable energy research program.
“Our partnership with Sumitomo Electric gives us the opportunity to study the operation of large-scale renewable energy generation and storage technologies in Queensland’s climate,” Mackinnon said.
Mackinnon added that CPV technology was around 2.5 times more efficient than standard photovoltaic technology.
“Although they look similar to traditional photovoltaic panels, CPV systems have a layer of lenses over the top of the photovoltaic cells that concentrates the sunlight and makes the system far more efficient,” he explained.
Sumitomo Electric also plans to demonstrate a redox flow battery in conjunction with the CPV technology. Redox flow batteries are rechargeable with several technical qualities that make them more suitable for large-scale energy storage than other battery types. For example, they have a long life cycle and the ability to operate at very high currents.
MacKinnon said QUT looked forward to a long partnership with Sumitomo Electric through which other renewable energy technologies and rapidly moving fields could be developed, such as advanced automotive systems, advanced materials and superconductivity.
“QUT also acknowledges the assistance of the Trade & Investment Queensland Japan team in working to bring this exciting opportunity to Queensland and recognizes the ongoing support of the Queensland Government for projects that have the potential to significantly deepen our research and commercialization engagement with Japan.”
Source: Queensland University of Technology; Photo: Shutterstock.
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