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Solar Institute backs ANU energy research

The Australian National University has launched a solar energy research project thanks to funding from the Australian Solar Institute.

The project will see solar collectors convert solar energy into both thermal and electrical energy.

According to Andrew Blakers, ANU professor and lead chief investigator of the project, its ultimate aim is to deliver cost-effective electricity and solar hot water using one combined system.

“The aim of this project is to develop and commercialise an improved roof-mounted hybrid solar system that is suitable for installation on millions of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.

“The key innovation is the use of spectral splitting of sunlight to improve the overall effectiveness. We will deliver solar photovoltaic electricity as well as solar heat at a temperature of 150º by focusing the intense beam of sunlight onto a concentrating collector,” said Blakers in a statement on 8 August.

The project is valued at AU$9.5 million over three years and will be partly covered by the AU$3.2m contribution from ASI.

Project partners are ANU, the University of New South Wales, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Chromasun and NEP Solar.