The Solar Dawn Consortium has partnered with
The University of Queensland in an extensive R&D program as part of the proposed project.
UQ is one of Australia’s top research intensive universities with a large and internationally respected energy research portfolio.
The research program, to be funded through the Federal Government’s Education Infrastructure Fund and by the Solar Dawn Consortium, will investigate multiple aspects of plant design and optimisation as well as new technology development in areas such as hybrid cooling and thermal energy storage.
The program has been designed to support the early stage operation and commissioning of the Solar Dawn plant and to provide long-term national benefit to the Australian solar thermal community.
After the initial phase of the program, a merit-based access scheme will facilitate access to the infrastructure for the broader research community.
As such, the research program is motivated by a desire not only to optimise the outcomes from the Solar Dawn plant, but also to develop a critical capacity in solar thermal technology: new intellectual property and knowhow, suitably trained engineers, scientists, economists and social policy experts.
Apart from a few isolated examples (CSIRO, ANU), this capacity does not exist currently in Australia and is embryonic in Queensland.
It is intended that the quality of the infrastructure and research program will fuel additional investment from national and international sources, leveraging the initial investment in Queensland and maximising the direct economic benefit to the ‘Sunshine State’.