Scientists will work together to harness the potential of renewable energy.
Deakin University has been awarded almost $1m in funding by the Commonwealth Government’s Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.
Professor Maria Forsyth of Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) and her team will work in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) on a project to increase the potential of renewable energy with the development of improved energy storage solutions.
According to Deakin’s Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Professor Peter Hodgson, the funding recognises the University’s increasing international reputation in developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
“Efficient energy storage technology is a vital part of building a sustainable, reliable energy supply that will reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.”
‘This project will develop safer, more stable energy storage materials and technologies to enable the full potential of renewable energy to be realised.
“I congratulate Professor Forsyth and her team, and the partner organisations who will be working with them on this important project, on their hard work.’
Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and tide need to be harnessed when they are available, which often does not correspond with peak demand. Professor Forsyth’s project, “New materials for large scale, high stability, high energy density batteries: from material design to prototype development,” will result in the development of safer, more efficient and stable energy storage materials and technologies.
Geared towards stationary, large-scale applications, such as electricity grids, the project aims to develop new lithium and sodium prototype batteries, using new electrolyte materials, which will be more stable and have longer lifetimes than batteries currently on the market.
The new prototyping facility established at Deakin will enable further innovation and intellectual property development towards large-scale energy storage applications and allow engagement with key industry partners in India and Australia to develop local manufacturing capabilities.
‘To make a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from electricity generation, efficient and reliable energy storage capabilities are vital,’ Professor Forsyth said.
‘Battery technologies offer the most viable solution to the energy storage problem and allow greater penetration of renewables into the electricity grid.
‘With the support of exceptional researchers at IISc and IIT-B, along with our team here at Deakin, we’re confident that this grant will lead to significant improvements to remote or stand-alone renewable energy installations, such as those located in isolated communities or rural areas, which are of major importance in both India and Australia.
‘I’d also like to acknowledge the contribution of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science and the work of Chief Investigator Professor Douglas MacFarlane from Monash University and Associate Professor Patrick Howlett for some of the preliminary research that led to the successful proposal.’
Professor Forsyth’s team also includes Professor Ian Chen (Deakin University), Associate Professor Aninda Jiban Bhattacharyya (IISc), Professor Srinivasan Sampath (IISc), Dr Vijay Anand Sethuraman (IISc) and Associate Professor Sagar Mitra (IIT-B).
Recognised as one of Australia's leading materials research organisations, the Institute for Frontier Materials' mission is to foster innovation and excellence in materials science and engineering research.View Website