At last nights meeting of the Australian & New Zealand Solar Energy Society NSW Branch, Simon Troman, gave some further insight into the Solar Energy Demonstration Facility being constructed near Alice Springs.

The $3 million Facility will initially include fifteen different solar photovoltaic systems designed to showcase and compare different solar power technologies. Installations will include solar concentrator dishes utilising the latest in waterless cooling systems, large scale tracking arrays and a variety of photovoltaic technologies.

The facility will provide a place to train students in the use and maintenance of solar installations and will allow visitors to see, first-hand, how the technologies work. There will be no fencing of exhibits, so that visitors can touch the equipment if it is safe to do so. Output will be monitored in real-time and displayed openly to the public on screens at the Facility and over the Internet.

The location of the facility, at the Desert Knowledge Precinct in Alice Springs, which is already a centre for research and business development, will enable testing of the robustness of the equipment and its suitability for Australia’s harsh environment.

Solar contrator power station at Hermannsburg, near Alice Springs
Solar contrator power station at Hermannsburg, near Alice Springs