The University of South Australia (UniSA) has opened a Sustainable Energy Industry Support Centre, aimed at speeding up the development of advanced solar thermal technologies.
Based in Adelaide and partly funded by the federal government, the centre will be available for industry use and will support the research and development of solar hot water, solar heating systems and other solar technologies.
Testing of solar thermal technologies is expected to include measuring thermal performance of solar collectors, checking the impact of rainfall and large hail stones, evaluating safety and performance during extended periods of no hot water draw-off and protection against freezing temperatures.
Speaking at the centre’s launch, minister for the environment, heritage and the arts, Peter Garrett, said the its focus would be on solar hot water applications in Australia through independent testing, product development and monitoring services to support local manufacturers and suppliers of solar hot water systems.
"By contributing $410,000 towards the development of this testing centre, the Australian Government is investing in research facilities that directly benefit our solar industry,” Garrett said in a statement.
In related news, the federal government has announced that it is contributing $1.2 million to support the installation of solar panels in Adelaide at the Detroit Diesel building at the Keylink Industrial Estate, Rundle Lantern and the Adelaide Central Market sites.
The investment is part of the federal government’s Solar Cities initiative aimed at fostering renewable energy use in areas which may have peak electricity supply problems and higher than average domestic electricity prices
Solar cities include Adelaide, Alice Springs, Blacktown, Central Victoria, Moreland, Perth and Townsville.