A solar array based at the University of Queensland was officially launched on 15 July.
The University of Queensland Solar Array, a 1.22 megawatt design, underpins a number of research projects in diverse fields including physics, engineering, economics and sustainability.
“A major objective of our array research program is to provide a clearer understanding of how to integrate megawatt-scale renewable energy sources into an urban grid,” said Paul Meredith of Queensland’s School of Mathematics and Physics and Global Change Institute.
Energex, an electricity distributor and retailer, has joined Queensland as a partner in the research project and contributed towards the purchase of equipment to allow monitoring and analysis of the power feed from the St Lucia solar array.
Another key research project will focus on a solution to one of the most common problems of solar power: it cannot replace 24-hour baseload grid power because it can be generated only when the sun is shining.
Through a partnership with RedFlow, a Brisbane-based leader in electricity storage technology, a 200 kilowatt battery bank will be connected to a 339 kilowatt section of Queensland’s solar array to allow research into techniques for capturing solar power during the day and feeding it into the grid at night and other times of peak demand.