Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

French invention draws water from air by Justin Blows
August 31, 2010, 3:26 pm
Filed under: Feature

This report is about a system that condenses water vapour from air: “First we harness the energy of the wind to make electricity, which is used to motor an air conditioning system in which the humidity of the air is condensed to produce water.” The machine sucks air into a system that cools a series of plates on which the humidity of the air condenses, forming water which flows into a collecting tank. “This is nothing more than a machine that makes rain,”

The inventor, Marc Parent, is unequivocal about the importance of IP to his company, Eolewater, especially in terms of attracting investment partners. “Intellectual property is indispensible,” he said, “it is the key to the vault”. This cannot be done single-handedly, he stressed; finance and industrial partners are needed. Investors, he discovered, were only interested if they could see that the machine worked and if they were sure the technology had been patented. “Without patents there are no investors, no commercialization,” he said. “Without a patent it is not possible to make an innovative solution like this operational. Without a patent you can’t attract investors, or clients to buy the right to manufacture this machine in different countries. They won’t do it without the assurance, the certainty of having an exclusive right in the technology.”

Justin Blows

Solar thermal approved by Justin Blows
August 31, 2010, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Feature

According to this report, the State of California has granted approval for a new solar thermal power plant. The 250-megawatt Beacon Solar Energy Project is the first solar thermal power plant to be licensed in the United States in nearly 20 years. Commercial operation is expected to start by the third quarter of 2011.

Justin Blows

Curtin research produces cost effective power sustainably by Griffith Hack
August 26, 2010, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Feature

As a Griffith Hack client we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Chu-Zhu Li on winning the 2010 Curtin Commercial Innovation Award. Please see details in the Media Release below.

Media Release: 13 August 2010
Curtin University researchers have made a breakthrough in converting biomass, such as mallee, into “clean” combustible gaseous fuels that can be used to generate a continuous source of electricity (base load electricity).

This innovative new technology has the potential to provide a sustainable and economical energy generation alternative, especially in regional and rural areas.

The technology, developed by Professor Chu-Zhu Li and his team from Curtin’s Centre for Advanced Energy Science and Engineering, was named the winner of the 2010 Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards announced today.

The annual awards, run by Curtin’s Office of IP Commercialisation, acknowledge the best commercially-oriented innovations arising from research by Curtin staff and students.

Curtin’s Office of IP Commercialisation Director, Rohan McDougall, said the winning innovation was a great advance in sustainable energy generation.

“The gasifier that Professor Li and his team have developed is able to convert raw solid fuels like biomass into clean gaseous fuel in a highly efficient and economical manner,” Mr McDougall said.

“Numerous efforts have been made worldwide to clean up product gas from existing gasification processes in a cost effective way but with only limited success.

“Use of gasification product gas currently has limitations in electricity generation as tar and other contaminants foul up the gas engines and turbines. Curtin’s gasification technology is able to produce clean product gas with a high energy content.”

The process utilises mallee, abundant in WA and actively farmed to minimise dryland salinity.  Other low-rank fuels like lignite, brown coal and peat can also be converted.

“This technology will be particularly useful in the immediate future in rural and remote areas to replace the diesel engines that are currently being used,” Mr McDougall said.

“Unlike other renewable energy sources this process can be used to produce base load power and not just peak load so eventually when the technology is fully developed it can be used for clean and cost-effective generation of electricity in cities as well.”

A pilot scale gasifier (4kg/hr) has been built and operated successfully.  Professor Li is now working toward the construction of a demonstration plant at Curtin.

Curtin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Development, Professor Linda Kristjanson, commended the winning project.

“This work is an excellent example of the cutting edge research and innovation taking place at Curtin and a very deserving winner of the top prize in this year’s awards,” Professor Kristjanson said.

“Curtin staff and students have an excellent track record in conducting high level, industry-relevant research which can provide significant benefits to the community, with many of the projects offering real commercial potential.”

The other finalists who won prizes at the awards were:

Professor Peter Teunissen
, an ARC Federation Fellow from the Department of Spatial Science at Curtin, was recognised for his next generation global positioning system.  It has improved 3-D positional accuracy, reduced convergence time and improved data integrity. His technology can open up a host of applications that were previously unattainable with existing systems, including precision agriculture, offshore positioning, land surveying, and emergency and military services. 

Dr Fedja Hadzic and Dr Michael Hecker, Research Fellows from Curtin’s Digital Ecosystems Business Intelligence Institute, were awarded an early career prize for a software tool able to clean-up duplications and errors in corporate and government databases. The software can also detect the source of contamination and prevent future data pollution with business process mining.

Contact: Ann Marie Lim; Public Relations; Curtin; 08 9266 4241; 0401 103 532; 

Note to Editor:

About Professor Chun-Zhu Li: Professor Chun-Zhu Li is a world leader in energy research. He took up the position of Director of the new Curtin Centre for Advanced Energy Science and Engineering in early 2009. Under Professor Li’s leadership, the Centre is developing novel low emission energy technologies, covering both fossil fuels and renewables.

About Curtin IP Commercialisation: Curtin established a pre-seed fund in 2005 and a follow-on fund in 2008, each with funding of up to $5 million. The funds are being applied to support early stage commercialisation of innovative new technologies developed at Curtin. The University has invested in 13 companies and a number of unincorporated opportunities. The investee companies are rapidly growing and employ over 80 people in new economy jobs and generate revenues in excess of $10 million per annum.


EcoGen2010: The power to deliver – uniting the Cleantech industry. by Griffith Hack
August 20, 2010, 8:34 am
Filed under: Feature

5-8 September. Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Building on years of experience and dedication to the clean energy industry, EcoGeneration magazine is proud to present, EcoGen 2010.

EcoGen 2010 will bring together the highest levels of the clean energy industry, locally and internationally.

EcoGen 2010 will tackle the issues facing the clean energy industry and find the solutions.

To register, CLICK HERE.

Biofuel from whisky by Justin Blows
August 20, 2010, 8:30 am
Filed under: Feature

According to this report, scientists in Scotland have unveiled a biofuel developed from the by-products of the whisky distillation process.

Justin Blows

Miasole – a solar-patent strong man by Justin Blows
August 18, 2010, 8:47 am
Filed under: Feature

According to this report, Miasole, a maker of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar modules, has 105 patents and patent applications and has 50 more coming soon. The company’s goal is to file around 100 applications per year.

Now that’s a patent portfolio!

Justin Blows

Professor Martin Green wins prize by Justin Blows
August 18, 2010, 8:43 am
Filed under: Feature

Congratulations to solar PV pioneer Professor Martin Green, from the University of NSW,  who won the Leadership prize at the Eureka awards.  Read the citation here.

Professor Green is an inventor associated with Australia’s highest quality solar patent, according to our analysis.

Justin Blows