Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

Origin energy forms solar partnership with Micron technology by Justin Blows
January 17, 2010, 7:49 pm
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According to this report, Origin energy has formed a solar  PV joint venture with Micron Technology, based in Boise USA.

Origin’s media release does not have specific details about what technology it brings to the table.  Micron specializes in semiconductors.

A quick look at the Australian patent records, however, shows that many of Origin’s patent’s have Klaus Weber and Andrew Blakers from the Australian National University as inventors.

According to the Origin web site, the award-winning SLIVER PV technology was invented and developed at the Australian National University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems with financial support from Origin. A dedicated research and pilot manufacturing facility is located at Regency Park in Adelaide, South Australia.

Photo courtesy Origin Energy

This appears to be a great story of research projects and JVs being facilitated by patents.  First, ANU and Origin, and now Origin and Micron.

Justin Blows


Beaming power to earth from space by Justin Blows
December 7, 2009, 3:42 pm
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In what could be the most audacious clean energy plan this year, authorities in the US have approved Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to generate solar power in space and beam it to earth.

According to a press release, the experimental technology uses orbiting satellites equipped with solar cells to convert the sun’s energy into electricity, which is then converted into radio frequency energy that can be transmitted to a local receiver station. Space-based solar power has been researched in the U.S. for several decades and this summer the Japanese government announced plans to pursue a space-based solar program.

According to this report, the 200-megawatt orbiting solar farm would convert solar energy collected in space into radio frequency waves, which would be beamed to a ground station near Fresno, Calif. The radio waves would then be transformed back into electricity and fed into the power grid.

Justin Blows

Interest in combined solar heat and power accelerating by Justin Blows
December 3, 2009, 9:40 am
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There are now several players who are working to capture the heat generated when sunlight falls on photovoltaic modules and then putting it to good use.

Chromasun is one such player patenting in this area.   An international patent application by Chromasun discloses concentrating solar light using compact Fresnel reflector onto a photovoltaic strip, behind which is a thermal solar receiver in which a liquid that receives the heat flows.

Chromosun’s web site suggests that this technology could be deployed on the roof tops of buildings, presumably including dwellings.

Mitsubishi, who is a big player in wind turbines, is developing a rooftop solar unit that they claim cam supply 65% of a household’s energy needs. According to this report, the product generates solar hot air and electricity. Air flow between the PV panel and a standard roof captures the heat. The air flow recovers heat from the solar panel side. By recovering the heat, it can then be used for household heating and hot water supply. Testing of a three kilowatt unit apparently verified that 65 percent of energy consumption in each household could be replaced by solar energy.

Justin Blows

Solar PV price to drop sharply by Justin Blows
July 17, 2009, 10:01 am
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

According to this report, there will be a 28% price drop for cell-based and thin film solar panels and modules in 2009. Installed system prices will fall about 9%.

Justin Blows

Solar Energy Society tells it how it is by Justin Blows
June 30, 2009, 11:52 am
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In this article, John Grimes, the CEO of the Australian & New Zealand Solar Energy Society (ANZSES) stated:

Australian scientists and research and development are at the leading edge of the world  … what we lack is government support to commercialise and capitalise on that research

It is his opinion that unless Australia introduces a solar feed in tariff Australia will miss out on the opportunities of harnessing solar energy to solve our energy problems, and all of the business opportunities associated with it.

Justin Blows

2008 was great year for Solar PV. by Justin Blows
March 23, 2009, 8:12 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , , ,

According to this report, solar PV grew 110% in 2008.  The leading markets were Spain, Germany, US, Korea, Italy and then Japan in that order.

The report suggests, as I have previously stated in a previous blog, that government policy and particularly feed in tariffs are the key driver for solar PV.  Let’s hope the feed in Tariffs proposed for the ACT and Victoria proceed!  If the Australian market responds to feed in tariffs as foreign markets have, it may be a good time to file your patent applications to protect your interests.

Justin Blows