The CSIRO Local Energy Systems team is a group of researchers who want to help you save energy – without noticing you’re doing so.
They’re developing new technologies for use at home or work which can decrease energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all while letting you maintain your lifestyle. The group’s projects include solar technologies – like the solar cooling systems we’ve mentioned here before – and other things, like the Electric Driveway project. That’s an ingenious system where your electric car can help your house cut its power bills and increase local grid stability.
Interest piqued? Read more here by downloading our super-nice new brochure.
Can CSIRO’s ‘solar air-conditioning’ technology save Australia big bucks in electricity network upgrades? This is a question that’s being investigated by a new Solar Cooling partnership of which CSIRO is a member. Giles Parkinson has written about the project and its motivations recently on the RenewEconomy website:
The biggest strain on our electricity networks right now – and the cause for at least one third of the $45 billion network upgrades, and at least half of the recently announced tariff increases – are the “super” peak demand periods triggered when everyone returns home from work and flicks on their air conditioning.
In some states this might only occur for a few hours a year, more in others, but network operators have been at a loss to address the issue, apart from building more capacity. Other solutions have been offered – demand management being one of them – but what if the network operators could turn to solar-powered air conditioners as the solution to reduce peak load?
ECOS magazine has just published an article describing how the energy research we’re doing today could soon become part of your everyday life. In addition to talking about our solar work, it mentions our other fields of endeavour – such as the clothing we’re developing that could one day use the movement of your body to charge your phone, or the UltraBattery that could power your car and act as an extra back-up supply for your house. Read the article here.
Did you know it’s possible to use the sun’s heat on your rooftop to air-condition your house – without using electricity?
Using heat to make things colder sounds counter-intuitive, but this is exactly what CSIRO’s Solar Cooling technology can do. Researchers here at the Energy Technology Centre have developed a unit that collects solar thermal energy from rooftop panels on a house, and then uses it to produce a cool stream of air via evaporation.
Journalist Giles Parkinson has written an article about this project for the Climate Spectator following his recent visit to our Newcastle site. In ‘A chilling future for solar power’ he describes the Solar Cooling project, and explains the benefits of a technology that could reduce our reliance on grid-based electricity for keeping cool on scorching summer days.
If you’re interested in more information about CSIRO’s Solar Cooling project, please visit the project website. You can also learn more about the technology at the Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group’s website at http://www.ausscig.org.