Joe Coventry

Associate Professor

Picture of Joe Coventry

Craig Building (35A), C2.11



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My expertise is in the field of concentrating solar systems, both concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) and concentrating solar thermal (CST). Current research projects span the following topics:

  • Development of low-cost heliostats, particularly development of low cost, highly accurate mirror panel technologies, and characterising mirror panel performance
  • Sensible sodium receiver technologies, including optimisation of receiver geometry, and understanding heat transfer and thermal stresses in the containing tubes
  • Sodium tubular boiler technologies, coupled to a PCM storage system, particularly thermal transport phenomena of multi-phase processes
  • Optical absorber coatings for high-flux solar receivers
  • Carnot batteries, in particular understanding the value proposition
  • Thermal energy storage, particularly development and testing high-temperature energy storage technologies


  • Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI) ANU Chief Investigator, Program leader, Project leader. The ASTRI program is the foremost CSP research program in Australia, with 6 university partners plus the CSIRO. ASTRI’s mandate is to develop and demonstrate components, and integrated systems, to rapidly enable economically feasible concentrating solar power generation based on next-generation high temperature technologies. The research portfolio includes collectors, receivers, thermal storage and heat transfer, advanced materials, power systems, process heat (fuels/chemicals), integrated system modelling and technology demonstration.
  • ANU Translational Fellowship Exploring the potential for Carnot Batteries, both from a market and technology perspective.
  • ANU Grand Challenge ‘Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific’. Member of the ECI team, and investigator in the Hydrogen Fuels program.
  • ARC Linkage “Multiscale engineering of durable absorber coatings for solar thermal power”, with industry partners Nano Frontier Technology and Vast Solar. Lead Chief Investigator. The goal is to advance the long-term stability and efficiency of high-temperature absorber coatings for Concentrated Solar Power plants.
  • ARC Linkage “Thermal transport in multi-phase flows for concentrating solar applications”, with industry partner Vast Solar. This project seeks to advance the field of heat transfer in high-temperature systems involving liquid metals, with emphasis on energy storage and solar power technologies. The concept couples a tubular sodium boiler with a sodium chloride phase-change storage system for continuous energy supply.
  • Heavy Industry Low-Carbon Transition (HILT) Cooperative Research Centre. Investigator, working in the areas of Green Hydrogen and Green Heat supply to remote heavy industry, and Green Steel, particularly use of hydrogen in direct reduction of iron ore.


Associate Professor Coventry is a researcher and engineer experienced in the development and commercialisation of concentrating solar technologies. He is an Associate Professor at ANU, and holds an ANU Translational Fellowship. Prior, he was the Principal Engineer at Wizard Power, and led the engineering team and development of the Big Dish CSP technology. Associate Professor Coventry holds a BE/BSc from the University of Melbourne (1997), and a PhD from the Australian National University (2004).

Activities & Awards

2021 Solar Energy Journal Best Paper Award

2018 ANU Translational Fellowship

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The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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