Well known solar thermal activist and speaker, ANU engineer Dr Keith Lovegrove was yesterday rewarded with Federal Government funds to get his solar thermal plant running.
Well known to Ebono listeners and readers, he has developed a system of capturing thermal energy from the sun to generate electricity using standard steam turbines. His approach uses a saline compound to store the heat at 650 degrees Celsius for use over 24 hours.
He believes that the future is not just in simple electricity generation but also the production of liquid fuels using the energy captured in this way.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation yesterday announced the funding for his project.
Australia’s first large-scale working demonstration of a solar energy system has been given the go-ahead.
The Federal Government has agreed to fund half of the $14 million project, based on research from the Australian National University (ANU).
Keith Lovegrove form the ANU says four solar dishes will be constructed in the South Australian outback, and will generate large-scale electricity.
He says it is a big step forward for solar thermal power.
"If we demonstrate a technology like that, it’s a way of generating large utility-scale electricity that we have taken for granted from coal-fired power stations," he said.
"This is how we get it day and night from solar energy."