+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: The central Victorian sun powers world's first concentrated solar power station

  1. Link to Post #1
    Australia Avalon Member panopticon's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Posts
    2,591
    Thanks
    8,262
    Thanked 7,989 times in 2,304 posts

    Default The central Victorian sun powers world's first concentrated solar power station

    The central Victorian sun powers world's first concentrated solar power station
    By Larissa Romensky and Jonathan Ridnell, March 31st 2015


    John Lasich, co-founder and technical director of RayGen standing in front of a field of mirrors that are computer controlled to follow the sun so that sunlight can be converted to electricity. (ABC Central Victoria:Larissa Romensky)

    A pilot facility, claiming to be the world's lowest-cost energy plant, has opened in Newbridge in Central Victoria converting sunlight into electricity.

    In a paddock off a dirt road stands a massive 25-metre tower directed at a field of silver rotating panels that shimmer in the sunlight.

    This is the world's first concentrated solar photovoltaic (CSPV) power station just launched by research and development company, RayGen Resources.

    "The end result is very low cost solar electricity and we think it's going to really revolutionise solar energy," said Robert Cart, CEO and co-founder of the company.

    The tower acts as a receiver that collects sunlight from the mirrors that are computer controlled to move as they track the sun.

    "The collector field focuses the light on the receiver. The receiver directly converts that light to electricity," said co-founder and technical director of RayGen, John Lasich.

    The very small receiver is the unique part of this technology.

    "This is the only commercial version of this technology in the world," said Mr Lasich.

    "It combines heliostats and denser photovoltaic cells, which when combined give very low cost and high efficiency."

    At this stage the $3.6 million project is a pilot testing facility. But the company are happy with the results.

    "It looks and feels pretty much like the real thing does," said Mr Lasich.

    High efficiency meets low cost

    The small plant generates enough power to run about 75 to 100 homes and the company says the technology is cheaper and more efficient than placing solar panels on roofs.

    "They're big and they require a lot of material," said Mr Cart.

    "What we're doing requires half as much materials and produces a lot more power.

    "So at a large scale we can achieve less than half the cost of those panels."

    The power generated by the CSPV power station is used to provide electricity for a local mushroom composting business. The company had been looking at renewable energy options for the last eight years, so the relationship suited them both.

    "We need power; they need a site to run their pilot plant to develop their product, " said co-owner of the mushroom composting business, Mick Surridge.

    Currently the business spends $25,000 -$30,000 on average, per month, on electricity bills for heat generating and cooling to produce their compost, especially in summer.

    The cost of producing energy from this CSPV technology is much cheaper.

    "In a good sunny area it would be somewhere between 5 and 10 cents per kilowatt," said Mr Lasich.

    International market

    RayGen was co-founded in Melbourne in 2010 by Robert Cart and John Lasich.

    Mr Lasich also founded the company Solar Systems, which operates developmental activities from nearby Bridgwater.

    The proximity to Melbourne makes Central Victoria a convenient location for a number of reasons. It allows the company bring investors onsite, then there's the sun factor.

    "It's easy to access anything in Victoria and it's good sun," said Mr Cart.

    The company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with their Chinese commercial partners.

    Juye Solar have invested $6 million which will allow RayGen to expand its manufacturing. They are currently in the process of building a larger facility at the same location.

    A further $15 million will be invested by Juye Solar to develop the business in China to meet the large demand.

    "Australia, relatively speaking, is significantly smaller than places like India, China, and the US and in Europe, where solar energy is just growing leaps and bounds every year." said Mr Cart.

    "It an enormous growth market and opportunity and it's a shame we in Australia are not taking advantage of that."

    In addition to foreign investment RayGen received $1.75 million from the Federal Government and a $1 million grant from the Victorian State Government for initial field-testing.

    "The market for Australia for us is very limited; in order to deliver projects in Australia we have to have government grants to support those projects because the market itself is really not designed to support large scale solar," said Mr Cart.

    "It's one of the worst in the developed world."

    They would eventually like to supply large retailers and utilities with power.

    "To be able to simply plug into the wall to get clean solar energy," said Mr Cart.

    The ultimate aim for RayGen is to have distribution around the world.

    "We build the high tech components and software and sell that to the companies and they build the balance of system and put the whole plant together," said Mr Lasich.

    Source
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
    The only consequence is what we do."

  2. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to panopticon For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd April 2015), BMJ (3rd April 2015), guayabal (1st April 2015), leavesoftrees (2nd April 2015), seko (1st April 2015), Tesseract (1st April 2015)

  3. Link to Post #2
    Australia Avalon Member
    Join Date
    7th July 2011
    Posts
    1,113
    Thanks
    4,638
    Thanked 3,057 times in 950 posts

    Default Re: The central Victorian sun powers world's first concentrated solar power station

    At last! It has always worried me that Australia, which is ideally suited to solar energy, especially in the regions, has been reluctant to go ahead with investment in the area. Of course the well protected and aggressive coal industry could have something to do with it. In Victoria we have enough filthy polluting brown coal to last for hundreds of years! But we need to move on and use the solar energy arriving most days freely. That's another problem-- no one owns the sunshine, there is no huge profit in it. It should be being developed by the government for the benefit of the people who live here, but that won't happen until someone somewhere can make a profit. At least they will not be polluting the planet as much as coal and oil!

    Pan, do you know what happened to the plan to build a tower (as already in Spain), in Mildura. The idea was such towers could power outback cities and relieve the urban congestion of Sydney and Melbourne.

    Some good news today, wind farms will be allowed in Victoria again!

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ellisa For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd April 2015), panopticon (2nd April 2015)

  5. Link to Post #3
    Australia Avalon Member panopticon's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Posts
    2,591
    Thanks
    8,262
    Thanked 7,989 times in 2,304 posts

    Default Re: The central Victorian sun powers world's first concentrated solar power station

    Quote Posted by Ellisa (here)
    At last! It has always worried me that Australia, which is ideally suited to solar energy, especially in the regions, has been reluctant to go ahead with investment in the area. Of course the well protected and aggressive coal industry could have something to do with it. In Victoria we have enough filthy polluting brown coal to last for hundreds of years! But we need to move on and use the solar energy arriving most days freely. That's another problem-- no one owns the sunshine, there is no huge profit in it. It should be being developed by the government for the benefit of the people who live here, but that won't happen until someone somewhere can make a profit. At least they will not be polluting the planet as much as coal and oil!

    Pan, do you know what happened to the plan to build a tower (as already in Spain), in Mildura. The idea was such towers could power outback cities and relieve the urban congestion of Sydney and Melbourne.

    Some good news today, wind farms will be allowed in Victoria again!
    G'day Ellisa,

    To quote:
    Quote Silex Systems Limited (Sydney, Australia) on August 18th, 2014 announced an update on funding arrangements for Solar Systems Pty Ltdís (Abbotsford, Australia) proposed 100MW Mildura concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) project, located in Carwarp, near Mildura in Victoria.

    Following a joint review by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Solar Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Silex, both parties have agreed to suspend plans for the 100MW Mildura Solar Power Station and accordingly terminate the funding deed for USD 75 million of conditional support for the project from ARENA.

    The decision was based on a number of factors, including low wholesale electricity prices and the uncertainty surrounding the nationís Renewable Energy Target.
    Source
    It's part of the problem we have in Oz.

    Coal, oil, gas all get subsidies to make them viable. This lowers prices and pushes renewables out of the market.

    Tack onto that the seeming hatred of renewables that the Federal LNP seem to have and it's no wonder that the market is contracting...

    Couple of more sources from the archives
    Silex dumps 100MW solar ahead of RET review
    Silex shelves major solar power plant on RET uncertainty

    On a different note, there was an Aunty report on Catalyst about new solar tech which was really interesting:
    Quote Super Solar Cells
    Dr Graham Phillips investigates new technology that is able to convert more than 40 per cent of the sun's light into electricity. This is more than double the efficiency of today's domestic rooftop solar panels, and could eventually lead to cheaper sources of renewable energy.
    Don't panic though, it's sure to get no funding from Tony. To Green and anti-religion that sciency stuff. Tones will never allow it.

    How did Oz get to this?

    -- Pan
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
    The only consequence is what we do."

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to panopticon For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd April 2015)

  7. Link to Post #4
    Australia Avalon Member panopticon's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Posts
    2,591
    Thanks
    8,262
    Thanked 7,989 times in 2,304 posts

    Default Re: The central Victorian sun powers world's first concentrated solar power station

    Here's the video of the Super Solar Cells that I was talking about in my above post:


    I particularly like the second bit with the heat removal demonstration (around 6 min point) where they use a blow torch to show how efficiently the device removes heat.

    I love science

    -- Pan
    Last edited by panopticon; 2nd April 2015 at 03:15. Reason: Annoying typo
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
    The only consequence is what we do."

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to panopticon For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd April 2015), sunflower (5th April 2015)

+ Reply to Thread

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts