Our leading-edge research encompasses basic sciences, engineering and techno-economics for development and advancement of solar thermal and hybrid energy conversion technologies. Fundamental investigations span across optics, thermal and thermochemical sciences, and materials. The main applied research themes are concentrating solar technologies, solar fuels and commodity materials, solar power, and solar heating and cooling. We conduct system-level and techno-economic studies to support technology scaling and commercialisation.
We maintain and operate a comprehensive experimental infrastructure that includes state-of-the-art optical, thermal, chemical and materials laboratories. The unique in-house developed solar facilities include the ANU 500 m2 Big Dish and the 45 kWe indoor high-flux solar simulator.
Explore our available student research projects below and if you’d like to discuss opportunities for collaboration or funding, please email us.
Student research projects
- R. Bader, S. Haussener, and W. Lipiński. Optical design of multi-source high-flux solar simulators. Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 137:021012, 2014. DOI: 10.1115/1.4028702
- J. Cumpston and J. Pye. Shading and land use in regularly-spaced sun-tracking collectors. Solar Energy, 108:199–209, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2014.06.012
- V.M. Wheeler, J. Randrianalisoa, K.K. Tamma, and W. Lipiński. Spectral radiative properties of three-dimensionally ordered macroporous ceria particles. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 143:63–72, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2013.08.007
- K. Lovegrove and J. Pye. Fundamental principles of CSP systems. In Concentrating Solar Power Technology: Principles, Developments and Applications, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2012. Link
- M. Dennis and K. Garzoli. Use of variable geometry ejector with cold store to achieve high solar fraction for solar cooling. International Journal of Refrigeration, 34:1626–1632, 2011. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrefrig.2010.08.006
- G. Burgess and G. Johnston. Flux distribution of a single-axis tracking parabolic trough array with photovoltaic receiver. In Proceedings of the ISES 2001 Solar World Congress, pages 1067–1073, Adelaide, Australia, 25–30 November, 2001. Download (PDF, 367K)
- J.S. Coventry and K. Lovegrove. Development of an approach to compare the 'value' of electrical and thermal output from a domestic PV/thermal system. In Proceedings of the ISES 2001 Solar World Congress, Adelaide, Australia, 25–30 November, 2001. Download (PDF, 321K)
- G. Johnston, G. Burgess, K. Lovegrove, and A. Luzzi. Economic mass-producible mirror panels for solar concentrators. In Proceedings of the ISES 2001 Solar World Congress, pages 743–748, Adelaide, Australia, 25–30 November, 2001. Download (PDF, 520K)
- K. Lovegrove, G. Johnston, H. Kreetz, A. Luzzi, and G. Burgess. Recent developments on dish-based solar-thermal power systems at ANU. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, 29 November–1 December, 2000.
The Solar Thermal Group operates a trough-concentrator test bed that consists of a rotating horizontal platform onto which a 3.5 m2 horizontal axis tracking trough unit is mounted.
Solar heat may be collected using flat plate or evacuated tube collector arrays of up to 20 m2 gross area. Controlled temperatures of up to 120°C may be generated by the array.
The Solar Thermal Group maintains test and development equipment for the evaluation of ejector solar cooling including test rigs for fixed and variable geometry ejectors based on solar or...
The ANU SG4 (Solar Generator 4) dish is the world's largest paraboloidal dish solar concentrator, with 489 m2 of mirror aperture area.
The ANU SG3 dish has 387 m2 of mirror aperture area.
The ANU SG1 dish has 20 m2 of mirror aperture area.
The gas hydrate reactor and associated facilities enable research into formation, properties and kinetics of gas hydrate formulations.
A new high-flux solar simulator for high-temperature solar thermal and thermochemical research has been designed at the Australian National University.