CSIRO gets sun smart

CSIRO
Tuesday, 03 May, 2005


CSIRO scientists will soon be taking advantage of Australia's abundance of solar energy with the start of construction on the $1.5 million National Solar Energy Technology Centre (NSETC).

Located at the CSIRO Energy Centre site in Newcastle NSW, the NSETC will be a showcase for solar thermal technologies and play a key role in CSIRO's ongoing research into efficient, low emission energy generation.

The NSETC will be the only multi-collector facility of its type in Australia and home to the largest high concentration solar array in the Southern Hemisphere. At peak operation it will generate enough electricity to power more than 100 homes.

The NSETC comprises three main elements:

  • A high concentration tower solar array that uses 200 mirrors to generate more than 500 kW of energy. It will be capable of achieving peak temperatures of over 1000°C.
  • A linear concentrator solar array that generates a hot fluid at temperatures around 250°C to power a small turbine generator.
  • A control room facility that will house the centre's communications and control systems and serve as an elevated viewing platform.

This project is proudly supported by the International Science Linkages program established under the Australian Government's innovation statement Backing Australia's Ability, as well as the NSW Government's Sustainable Energy Research & Development Fund (SERDF).

The National Solar Energy Technology Centre is set to open in July 2005.

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