Alternative Energy Manufacturing Opportunities in Australia

This post is a summary of an article I wrote for the latest AMTIL Australian Manufacturing Technology magazine which came out in print edition today and can also be read online. Go to page 40.

 

And here is a picture taken of a Solar Systems concentrated Solar Power Dish. We were involved in software upgrades to the dish controller. It produced 114KWhr of power on an August day at Fosterville, near Bendigo and this picture was taken on that day.

Solar Systems Dish on sun at Fosterville

Energy Storage

The biggest issue with electricity is that it is hard to store. The Electrical Grid delivers power on demand and manages the generators to maintain the frequency and voltage while delivering the required power to satisfy the demand. Quite a juggling act. And while there are schemes like the Snowy Mountains Hydro where we can pump water uphill to consume power then let it flow downhills and run turbines to produce power, most power is managed at the generator directly.

 

Wind Power, Solar Photo Voltaic and Solar Concentrated are the primary renewable energy sources we will look at here, and they all provide a fluctuating supply. You can’t easily crank them up or down with the demand. So we still need a base supply to do the balancing act. Depending on our approach, it is estimated that the limit for these fluctuating supply types is between 8% and 30% of the total grid capacity.

 

 

Carbon Footprint

This represents how much carbon is releases into the atmosphere for a particular activity. The top emitters of carbon are:

  • livestock, principally sheep and cattle
  • power generation
  • transport (road, rail, air, sea)
  • industrial processes
  • land clearing, deforestation and agriculture

In Australia, 50% of our emissions come from power generation as we use a lot of brown coal which also happens to be one of the most polluting ways to generate power on mass. This is followed closely by transport. So you can see why power generation and transport are primary focuses for improving our carbon footprint.

 

There are only a few ways to improve this. These are:

  1. use less power – which creates the opportunity for more energy efficient devices to be created or alternative ways of doing things such as the use of smarter appliances that conserve energy use or even cooperate with the grid to use power at the best possible time
  2. reuse existing energy – heat exchangers in air conditioning systems are an example of this
  3. create energy in more efficient ways – new generator technologies or moving from dirtier sources to cleaner sources
  4. create energy in ways that does not use carbon, or uses a lot less of it

Because in Australia the creation of electricity is our primary source of greenhouse emissions we will focus on this area for the rest of the article.

 

Australia is ranked 5th in overall greenhouse gas emissions per capita and we are the highest per capita emitter of the industrialised nations so it is in our interest to develop alternatives to our current high emitting energy infrastructure. This is also where some major manufacturing opportunities arise for Australian industries.

 

 

Australian Manufacturing Opportunities

One of the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is sea freight. So the classic Australian model of digging it up, shipping it overseas and shipping value added goods or materials back is a poor strategy when you consider the greenhouse gases produced. There will be an increasing advantage of doing the value add locally when reducing the total carbon footprint becomes important.

 

Here are some examples of successful local manufacture of alternative energy products in Australia today. This is a very cursory list:

  • Australian Solar Manufacturing is importing silicon cells and manufacturing complete TUV approved panels in Hallam, Victoria.
  • Solar Systems are world leaders in concentrated solar silicon photovoltaics and are putting together the world€™s largest concentrated solar electric facility in Mildura.
  • Latronics and Solar Energy Australia both locally manufacture grid tied central inverters

Here are some opportunities to consider in the near future. This is just scratching the surface:

  • BP Solar are working with the CSIRO on deep discharge lead acid batteries for use in energy storage for remote solar installations. This will lead to new battery technology and new manufacturing opportunities.
  • CSIRO are world leaders in organic photovoltaics and organic semiconductors. VICOSC is established to commercial the organic photovoltaics and there will be many opportunities that come from this initiative.
  • Existing mounting and installation hardware for photovoltaics is labour intensive to use. There are opportunities for smarter and more elegant systems to make installation more modular and straight forward. This can work with local or imported panels.
  • Most grid connected inverters are imported but there are concerns about both build quality and whether they are all compliant with Australian Standards. The world market for inverters is set to grow by a factor of 10 over the next 5 years so there are also export opportunities.
  • Biofuels will become increasingly more important and there will be many opportunities related to this at both the production and consumption end of the process.

As you can see from the list, there are opportunities in both the core technology manufacture and also in the supporting systems and hardware.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile at Ray Keefe. This post is Copyright © 2011 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Casey Business of the Year 2010

Last night was the Casey Business Awards gala dinner where the Casey Business Awards were given out for 2010. We are very pleased to have been awarded the Casey Business of the Year for 2010. It was a great night and Casey Mayor, Cr Lorraine Wreford presented the award to Ray and Junette Keefe of Successful Endeavours.

 

Successful Endeavours were also joint winners of the Business and Professional Services award for 2010.

 

And we were finalists in the Manufacturer of the Year category which was won by Jain and Janice Lal at Australian Solar Manufacturing. They make high grade 200W solar panels in Hallam, as good as you can get anywhere in the world, and really deserved their win. Well done Jain and Janice.

 

Casey Business Awards 2010

Above is a shot of the Casey Business Award Certificates and also the trophies we received on the night.

And here we are with Casey Mayor, Cr Lorraine Wreford, with the Casey Business of the Year award certificate and trophy.

Successful Endeavours with Mayor Cr Lorraine Wreford

Ray and Junette Keefe of Successful Endeavours with Casey Mayor Cr Lorraine Wreford – Casey Business Of The Year

Here we are with the joint winners of the Business and Professional Services award, Better Dental Care and a representative of Monash University who sponsored this award category.

Casey Business and Professional Services award

Casey Business and Professional Services award

And here is a picture of the 3 award certificates together.

Successful Endeavours Casey Business Awards 2010

Successful Endeavours Casey Business Awards 2010

And the Casey Weekly (formerly Berwick & District Journal) on 7 September 2010 ran a 2 page special on the Casey Business Awards and this is an except from that covering our win as Casey Business of the Year 2010.

Successful Endeavours - Casey Business of the Year 2010

Successful Endeavours – Casey Business of the Year 2010

Below are media releases and official City of Casey web pages related to Successful Endeavours’ win as Casey Business of the Year and also as joint winners of the Business and Professional Services award.

 

The City of Casey Business Media Release Successful Endeavours named Casey Business of the Year

 

The City of Casey official Casey Business Awards page

 

The Greater Dandenong Weekly 30 August 2010 Company Wired For Top Award

 

The Casey Weekly Cranbourne 30 August 2010 Wired for success

 

The Casey Weekly Berwick 31 August 2010 Wired to win the big prize

 

The Cranbourne News 2 September 2010 Business Backed

 

AMTIL News feature AMTIL Member ‘Successful Endeavours’ wins 2010 Casey Business of the Year

 

And we thank our clients and suppliers for being the excellent businesses they are. This would not have been possible without you.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Casey Electronics Design Business in the News

Casey Business Awards

We already let you know that we are finalists in 2 of the 9 categories for the City Of Casey inaugural Casey Business Awards in our post about being Casey Business Awards Finalists. The Casey Business Awards categories we are finalists in are:

  • Manufacturer Of The Year
  • Business and Professional Services

The news has been picked up by one of our local Newspapers, The Greater Dandenong Weekly, who ran the following article about us and the other finalists. It is good to see so many strong contenders and our economy certainly needs strong businesses to continue to give both the employment and prosperity we have come to enjoy.

 

The Journal - Successful Endeavours

The Journal – Successful Endeavours

Our congratulations go out to the other finalists and we will find out who the winners are on Friday 27th August at the Casey Business Awards gala dinner.

It is good to see the Electronics Design, Embedded Software Development and Low Cost Electronics Manufacture featuring so strongly in the local Australian economy. We especially note that Australian Solar Manufacturing is also a finalist in the Manufacturer of the Year category and we wish Jain and Janice Lal all the best with their nomination.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.