Posts Tagged ‘enabling technologies’

Printing Australia’s Largest Solar Cells: Dr Scott Watkins, CSIRO

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on August 30th, 2013

2 September , 2013
6:30 pmto8:00 pm
Image: CSIRO

Image: CSIRO

Dr Scott Watkins (Stream Leader, Organic Photovoltaics, Materials Science and Engineering at CSIRO), is developing next generation organic solar cells. He will talk about the new manufacturing facility in Melbourne printing solar cells at the size of an A3 sheet of paper, which are one of the largest in the world.

The Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) has developed processes that use spray coating, reverse gravure and slot-dye coating as well as screen printing, and the technology that has gone from producing solar cells the size of a fingernail to 10cm square in three years. Dr Watkins says the new $200,000 printer has allowed the VICOSC team to jump to producing solar cells on sheets 30cm wide – right here in Melbourne!

The flexible, organic PV cells have applications in consumer devices and small integrated electronics, and into the future, they could be coated onto buildings, into windows and on roofs. Dr Watkins will join us to explain organic PV technology and how the printing process works.

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 2 September 2013 

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Entry: Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.


Energy efficient lighting webinar: December 6

Posted in Events by sashashtargot on November 29th, 2012

6 December , 2012
11:00 amto12:00 pm

Energy-efficient downlight

Join the Alternative Technology Association’s John Knox in a free webinar as he discusses the best energy-efficient lighting options for the home. Learn about the good, the bad and the ugly in home lighting. John will talk about replacements for energy-hungry halogen downlights, return on lighting spending, LEDs and other new energy-saving technologies.

There will be a Q & A session at the end of John’s presentation.

John Knox is an electronics design draftsman and electronics researcher. He is a seasoned presenter on household energy efficiency, building design and sustainable technologies. In July 2010 he rode his bicycle around Australia talking to communities about the importance of home energy efficiency.

When:  Thursday 6 December 2012

Time: 11am – noon

Click here to register for free to join the live webinar.

Shareable in Australia: Launch

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 9th, 2012

14 November , 2012
5:30 pmto7:00 pm

Shareable is launching a brand new Australian channel by convening local leaders of the sharing economy for an evening of connection, conversation and action.  New technology, sharing business models and a new generation’s preference for access to resources instead of ownership, provides an unprecedented opportunity to strive for freedom, prosperity and sustainability through sharing.

Shareable invites you to come and explore the below questions at this special event to coincide with Global Sharing Day:

  • What is the new sharing economy and why is it important to you?
  • How can we strengthen support for entrepreneurs, civic leaders and community groups working in this emerging space?
  • What initiatives are increasing citizen access to resources in Australia?

Join your host Darren Sharp (Editor Australia) on Wednesday 14 November to learn more about the local sharing economy from these inspirational people and projects:

  • Tom Amos – Sidekicker
  • Liisa Vurma – Eat With Me
  • Jodi Jackson – The Lemon Tree Project
  • Will Emmett – MeeMeep
  • Tom LeGrice – PetHomeStay

Please join us for this special launch event. Drinks and nibbles provided. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, November 14, 5:30pm – 7pm

Hub Melbourne
673 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Big thank you to our sponsor Hub Melbourne for providing the event space.

>> Register on Eventbrite or read more on Shareable.

PlantCatching: Website for sharing garden stuff

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on October 29th, 2012

Ever wonder what to do with all your spare herb cuttings, or plants that have outlived their time in your limited garden space?   Nicolas Cadilhac, in Montreal, has developed a website to help with just these issues – PlantCatching.

PlantCatching connects you with gardeners in your area and lets you do two very simple things:

1. Find plants, seeds and bulbs, gardening materials and even fruits and vegetables given by fellow gardeners, either anonymously in a public area, or personally at or near their property.

2. Share your passion by giving your plants, seeds, bulbs and your own harvest crops so that existing members of the site or even passers-by can catch, plant and admire them, or eat them.

The site works here in Melbourne, although it’s sparsely populated at the moment.

Energy & Water Consumption Displays (and other good things) in a Melbourne Apartment Building

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on August 22nd, 2012

4 September , 2012
9:30 amto12:30 pm

As the first Green Star Multi-Unit Residential certified project in Victoria, Convesso’s 4 Star Green Star rating represents ‘best practice’ in sustainable construction, with green features including:

  • In-home energy and water consumption displays that give occupants access to real time or historic usage data;
  • Energy efficient lighting and appliances;
  • Water efficient fixtures and fittings;
  • High performance glaze;
  • Superior acoustic treatment; and
  • Ample natural light.

Join a GBCA (Green Building Council Australia) tour for to see these ESD features and more in action prior to full occupation of the development.

Date: Tuesday 4 September 2012

  • Tour 1: 9.30 – 10.30am
  • Tour 2: 10.30 – 1.30am
  • Tour 3: 11.30 – 12.30pm

Location: 1 Waterside Place VICTORIA HARBOUR VIC 3000
Tickets: Member Individual $55
Non-Member Individual $95

>>Book a place on the tour

Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kits for Any Car: Research project

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 27th, 2012

Source: The Age

Photos by Andy Heidt for MTSU

From “Do-it-yourself hybrid” by Barry Park:

A cheap bolt-on kit will one day be able to turn most ordinary cars into fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids, US researchers say.

Engineering technology students at the Middle Tennessee State University have fitted a 20-year-old Honda Accord wagon with a retrofit plug-in hybrid system that powers the front wheels using the conventional petrol engine, and a pair of electric hub motors hidden inside the rear wheels.

Users are then able to plug the hybrid car into an ordinary power point to charge up a set of lithium-ion batteries mounted in the wagon’s load space.

The batteries in turn feed electricity into the hub motors to provide low-speed power that is able to help the conventional petrol engine accelerate – the most fuel-hungry part of driving.

The bolt-on kit was developed in recognition of the fact that many drivers in the US only travelled about 70 kilometres a day at speeds below about 70km/h.


Read the full article by Barry Park on the Age or read more about the project on Middle Tennessee State University’s website.

Cogeneration Heat & Power System going ahead in Fawkner

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 26th, 2012

Source: Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL)

Image via Cummins Power Blog

From MEFL’s July e-bulletin:

Cogeneration comes to Fawkner

Following extensive feasibility studies and a tender process, installation of a cogeneration system at the Fawkner Leisure Centre precinct is about to commence. The project builds on the landmark Carbon Management Strategy developed in partnership between MEFL and Moreland City Council as part of the Moreland Solar City project.  MEFL has been involved in the Fawkner cogen project right from the start. We contributed research and advice to support the project and will provide investment funding of $500,000.

Moreland City Council has awarded Total Energy Solutions the contract to build and commission a 75-kilowatt natural gas-powered cogeneration (combined heat and power) system. It will supply low-carbon electricity to several buildings, including the Fawkner Leisure Centre, Fawkner Library and Senior Citizens Centre, Fawkner Neighbourhood House, and the soon-to-be-constructed CB Smith pavilion. Waste heat produced by the cogeneration system will provide heating for the leisure centre’s pool.

Construction has commenced and the system is expected to be operational by early 2013. It is estimated the plant will produce $37,000 in energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 540 tonnes annually.

Stormwater Harvesting in Geelong: Case studies

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 10th, 2012

Source: Clearwater

From Geelong Stormwater Harvesting Projects:

The City of Greater Geelong has embarked upon a number of stormwater harvesting projects to reduce the City’s potable water use and maintain green open space and recreational assets. Two of these projects are detailed below.

Kardinia Park is an open space precinct that includes Simonds Stadium, home to the Geelong Football Club, and a number of other football/cricket ovals. The precinct is an important asset in the sporting and cultural identity of the Greater Geelong. The stormwater harvesting system diverts stormwater runoff from a 30ha area of Newtown and from nearby roofs and playing fields into a new underground storage tank. Water is drawn from this storage tank and used to irrigate the AFL ground’s playing surface and other surrounding ovals. The scheme is expected to save 13 megalitres of potable water per year.

Grinter Reserve was a product of the City’s Sustainable Water Use Plan developed or established in 2006. Stormwater from a conventional drainage system from an adjacent 200ha residential suburb is diverted into a constructed wetland in Grinter Reserve. Additional water sourced from the ‘Splashdown’ aquatic facility located within the Reserve allows approximately 30 megalitres of cleaned water to supply 100% of the irrigation demand for the reserve, providing ecological habitat and amenity and eliminating the need for potable water.

Read the full case studies on the Clearwater website.

A smart and resilient water system for a liveable, sustainable and productive Melbourne

Posted in Policies, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on April 26th, 2012

Image from the Implementation Plan summary

The Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Roadmap was released in March 2011. It outlined the recommended priorities for reform to support achievement of the Government’s objectives for urban water. The newly released Living Melbourne Living Victoria Implementation Plan outlines the [Ministerial Advisory Council] MAC’s final recommendations for changes needed to the urban water system to achieve a more sustainable, liveable Melbourne and Victoria.

From “Sense breaks through water debate” by Carolyn Boyd:

[A] new report in Victoria finds this: “the current system does not adequately support the use of alternative water sources (e.g. rainwater and storm water) for non-drinking needs”.


Among a raft of other suggestions, the findings push for stronger building controls to catch stormwater at its source and store it – in some cases in rainwater tanks at properties, and in others in storage tanks big enough for a whole urban precinct. When we have situations where more storm water flows out of a city each year than the city consumes (as is the case in Melbourne), it does seem crazy not to be tapping into the stuff as it falls from the sky.

The strategy aims to reduce the demand for mains water by using stormwater for non-drinking functions such as flushing toilets and washing clothes, and continues to support greater water efficiency in homes through low-use appliances and tap fittings.

The report suggests improved standards should apply to all new and significantly renovated buildings in Victoria. The report models the outcomes of capturing more storm water and provides some interesting insights. One of the scenarios uses a combination of enhanced household water efficiency and rainwater tanks to provide water for toilets, laundry and gardens. In this scenario, mains water was assumed to be used for personal washing and in the kitchen.

The modelling estimated these changes would cut potable water demand by 24 per cent, and lead to a 9 per cent drop in stormwater runoff and an 11 per cent fall in the amount of wastewater being discharged across greater Melbourne by 2050.

In another scenario, domestic rainwater was used for hot water and laundry, while storm water was collected and stored at a precinct or suburb-level, and supplied to households for toilet flushing and gardens. The modelling shows the above would deliver a 38 per cent cut in mains water demand, an 11 per cent drop ?in stormwater runoff and a 32 per cent fall in the wastewater being discharged across greater Melbourne by 2050.

Putting the argument for better water collection in residences, the report noted that larger infrastructure, such as dams and desal plants had a “lumpy, long lead time” and run “much higher risks of saddling customers and/or taxpayers with excessive or unneeded investment” – as many residents across Australia are arguing they are now finding with various desalination plants.

Read the full article by Carolyn Boyd, or read more about Living Melbourne, Living Victoria.

Retrofittable Window Insulation

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on November 14th, 2011

Source: EcoVoice

Photo by sanbeiji via flickr CC

In October 2011 MEP Films launched Enerlogic® Window Film, a retrofit window film designed to give single-glazed windows the thermal performance of triple-glazed windows.  Adding up to 92% more insulation to windows, it can deliver year-round results in cold, warm or mixed climates, with two types of film available. Enerlogic®35 has been designed to deflect 99% UV rays and 76% solar heat, and is suited to warmer climates. Enerlogic® 70 allows the winter sun’s natural light and warmth to enter the building while shielding the heat from the summer sun, for cooler climates.

Read more about this product on Eco-Voice.

NB: We try not to promote specific products here on Sustainable Melbourne, and we can’t endorse a brand, but this seemed like a product that would be of interest.  KA