A hi-tech energy storage centre, which will develop solutions to Australia’s future energy needs as well as places the Victorian workforce at the centre of scientific innovation, is now officially open at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.
As reported, the new AU$ 6 million-plus storEnergy centre, which is supported with an AU$ 4.4 million Federal Government grant, will produce materials on a commercial scale for electrolytes and high energy density electrodes.
It will also serve as an energy training hub with regular private sector interface.
storEnergy symbolises the type of partnership that Deakin is prioritising, believing that this is the future of innovation in Australia.
Continued advancement in clean energy technologies, including generation, storage, and secure systems management, will be fundamental to Australia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change and address increasing demands for energy.
The University has the capability and relationships to help drive this transformation to a more sustainable energy solution, and by doing so, is able to support the communities in a practical, future-oriented way.
The Centre will initially employ 15 PhD students, five research fellows and a research engineer.
The facilities, processes and partnerships in place will equip the next generation of researchers and the energy technology workforce with the skills needed to drive innovation, exploration and investigation.
The Centre is expected to unearth knowledge and create intellectual property in advanced energy materials, batteries and battery-control systems that will help small to medium-sized businesses play a world-leading role to advance and produce new storage technologies.
Collaboration is key
Director of the Centre and Alfred Deakin Professor Maria Forsyth confirmed that by working so closely with industry partners, researchers will design and manufacture new energy storage devices and components.
These will include advanced Li-ion, super-capacitors, and solid-state Li and Na batteries, with improved rate capability, capacity and safety.
In conjunction with industry partners, the University’s storEnergy operations will also utilise the expertise of higher education partners Monash University, Melbourne University, Queensland University of Technology and the University of South Australia.
storEnergy will operate by integrating with Deakin’s other world-class assets. It will utilise Deakin Waurn Ponds’ Battery Technology Research and Innovation Hub (Bat-TRI Hub), the Institute for Frontier Materials’ (IFM) world-class electrochemistry and NMR imaging labs, and the Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET).
In addition, the Deakin Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) will also simulate and review smart grid and technology systems, while the Carbon Nexus carbon fibre and composite research centre will provide further scope for producing advanced energy prototypes.
Energy storage initiatives
OpenGov Asia had reported several energy-storage initiatives outside of Australia.
An Expert Committee in India, which is chaired by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Secretary, had proposed a draft called the National Energy Storage Mission (NESM) aimed at promoting leadership in the energy storage sector by encouraging manufacturing, deployment, innovation, and cost reduction.
The NESM draft outlined how India can capture value across the supply chain and accelerate the country’s adoption of renewable energy.
The document said that in line with its aspiration to achieve 100 percent electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030, India can rise among the top countries in the world in manufacturing batteries.
In 2018, an agreement between Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and one of China’s leading battery manufacturers, Guoxuan High-Tech Co., Ltd. (Guoxuan), was signed to develop innovative energy storage technologies for electric vehicles.
The agreement between NTU and Guoxuan sought to develop new technologies to overcome battery-related challenges. These include the limited charging cycles of batteries and their integration with various renewable energy sources.