The Technology Show

The Technology Show is a half hour podcast aimed at highlighting the latest in clean tech breakthroughs, climate science, and renewable energy solutions. It is recorded weekly at 3CR radio in Melbourne on Friday Morning at 8:30 am and syndicated around Australia on the community radio network.
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Climate Politics
Climate Science
Concentrated Solar Thermal
Commercial Energy Efficiency
Energy Storage
Electric Vehicles
Geothermal Energy
Grid Management
Passive Solar Design
Residential Energy Efficiency
Solar Photo Voltaic
Sustainable Urban Design
Wave Energy
Wind Energy

Dr Andrew Watkins BOM

Beyond Zero talks to Dr Andrew Watkins, Senior Climatologist and the Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) manager of climate prediction, about the unusual weather we have been having lately and the current El Niño. Unlike 2014, climatologists have already observed record rivalling El Niño conditions for 2015. Dr Watkins says we have just experienced twelve consecutive weeks with temperatures more than 1°C above average in all five of the key El Niño monitoring areas. The record was previously held by the 1997 El Niño, when this widespread warming lasted eight consecutive weeks. How much of this can be attributed to climate change?

John Farrell ILSR Rooftop Revolution

John Farrell is Senior Researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) in Minneapolis, USA. He talks about the 5GW rooftop solar revolution potential on public buildings in the US. This is more than the total installed capacity of rooftop solar in Australia!  

Thank you to Paul Szuster, the expert interviewer for today. Paul Szuster is an energy engineer and analyst. He is the Director of TrueDemand, a consultancy delivering energy efficiency, solar, off grid solutions and energy market analysis. He is also Consultant at CME, an economics firm focussed on Australia's energy and utility industries. His most recent publication, penned with CME director Bruce Mountain, is an article in the current issue of IEEE's (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Power and Energy magazine called Solar, solar everywhere examining the economics of rooftop solar PV in Australia.

In June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could install solar little or no upfront cash. The energy savings would allow cities to redirect millions to other public goods.

Luke Osborne - Reposit Power

Luke Osborne is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Reposit Power and has been an executive in the electricity industry for over a decade, previously working in Canada, USA, NZ and South Africa. Reposit is a Canberra based start-up which makes software that optimises the use of solar power and storage to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels. Luke joins Beyond Zero's Anthony and Matt in the studio in a follow up interview about how Reposit's intelligent software lets the consumer make the most out of changing electricity prices throughout the day and their solar Feed-in Tariffs. 

Philip Keogan - Sunverge aggregating storage across grid for zero net energy homes

Beyond Zero's Anthony Daniele and Matt Grantham are joined again in the studio by Philip Keogan, Sunverge GM Australia and New Zealand (and formerly an executive at Ergon Energy) to talk about the latest on energy storage.  

Philip tells us about the Australian Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition which was recently (June 2015) held in Sydney, taking the next step in actively discussing the opportunities for storage, engaging consumers, and sharing learnings on the installation, maintenance, fleet management and resources for not only Sunverge's storage software solution aggregating renewables on the grid but also other systems. 

Philip was a conference speaker on the topic of WHY WE SHOULD AGGREGATE DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES & STAY ON GRID. He used the Vector Energy case study in New Zealand where the distributor installed Sunverge Integration Systems with PV and storage to consumers and looked at how about the Vector model could be rolled out at a larger scale. Successful outcomes of the Vector model include meeting demand response, negating cost for more investment into network, power network quality management, better manage more PV on the grid and long term cusomter engagement with the retailer. 

It's not only the utility market but also propery developers that Sunverge is working with. Sunverge's energy storage solution is installed in 34 homes across a low income, affordable housing community with energy efficient appliances in downtown Sacremento California, working with the distributor to manage energy consumption and draw from the grid, creating net zero energy homes. 

And the big news (since we talked with Phil previously) was the announcement of the Tesla Powerwall home storage battery in April. We marvel at the marketing flair, great industrial design of the product and how Tesla has the home energy storage conversation out there, years before anybody expected. It has also put a price point on the market for all competitors alike to aspire to. This can only lead to more battery innovation and renewable energy integration.  

Robert Mierisch CTO Terrajoule Australis

Robert Mierisch has a distinguished career in engineering, manufacturing, renewable energy, education, academia and it was during his work at Hydro Tasmania that he was head hunted by Ausra to work with Dr David Mills on pioneering solar thermal power plants when the company moved from NSW to California USA. After the company's sale to Areva Solar, Robert founded Terrajoule corporation, reviving steam engines with storage to operate as stand-alone electric generators using solar thermal power. 

Robert has recently returned to Australia to commercialise Terrajoule Australis' technology to begin replacing remote diesel grids, where the consumer doesn't have a grid or there's no reliable grid. The technology uses parabolic trough solar concentrators, which he has chosen over the other technologies - linear fresnel, dish or heliostat tower for their inability to withstand tropical cyclones. 

Avrohom Jacks - AHI saltwater battery

Aquion Energy, spun out of Professor Jay Whitacre's research centre at Carnegie Mellon University USA, has developed a patented Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) chemistry, using unique saltwater electrolyte battery technology. Using abundant, nontoxic materials and modern low cost manufacturing techniques, Aquion's AHI batteries are taking on the global energy storage challenge. The inherently safe chemistry of AHI batteries require no regular maintenance, little thermal management and have a very high cycle life at 100% Depth of Discharge. 

Avrohom Jacks of Ampetus Energy is a Melbourne based system integrator using these AHI batteries imported from the US. Avrohom and his team design and build energy storage systems for everyday households so you can store your solar power when you actually need it and allow you to pay off-peak rates during peak time (time-shifting your loads). 

Dr Sarah Perkins

Dr Sarah Perkins is a senior research associate and 2014 DECRA awardee in the Climate Change Research Centre at University of New South Wales (UNSW). Sarah has undertaken two postdocs at the CSIRO division of Marine and Atmospheric Research, as well as the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.  Due to her research activities and communication profile, Sarah was named a 2013 NSW Young Tall Poppy. Her research interests reside in temperature extremes, namely heatwaves. Sarah has investigated trends in heatwaves both globally and over Australia, as well as exploring the role of human activity behind such changes. Her research program includes understanding future changes in heatwaves, and how they may be driven by humans, as well as meteorological systems and natural climate phenomena.

Sarah has a new educational website Scorcher, which is an interactive map showing where heatwaves are currently occuring around Australia, as well as displaying past heatwave events.
Sarah also has her own blog site called sarahinscience

Michelle Nazzari - Fonzarelli Electric Scooters  Michelle Nazzari

The Fonzarelli 125 is Australia’s first electric scooter - 100% Australian owned and designed. Fonzarelli Managing Director and lead design engineer Michelle Nazzari, joins Beyond Zero's Michael and Niels to discuss her zero emissions city scooter. 


Sam Wilkinson IHS

Sam Wilkinson is Research Manager - Solar & Energy Storage at IHS (based in the UK), leading its research on the PV inverter, BOS and energy storage markets. He joins Beyond Zero's Anthony Daniele to talk about the new business models making storage viable, such as Reposit Power in Canberra. 

‘Software could be major factor’ in storage decision-making, says IHS

Luke Osborne - Reposit Power

In early May 2015 Reposit Power announced it is combining its GridCredits storage system with Tesla’s Powerwall Home Battery. Reposit Power's software links your solar and storage with their automated control which sells back to the grid when prices are high. This GridCredits consumers access to their own solar power overnight and at peak times, reducing their demand on the grid and allowing more solar to be used. It also allows energy to be sold back into the grid by placing bids into the market.

Reposit Power launched a Canberra based trial of GridCredits in late 2014, supported by $445,000 ARENA funding. It received a great deal of interest and Reposit now plans to offer GridCredits to Australian consumers as a commercial product in late 2015. 

Reposit Power was founded in 2012, a small tech start up company with big ideas based in Canberra, Australia. Luke Osborne joined Reposit in 2013 to lead the implementaton phase. Luke has been an executive in the electricity industry for over a decade. He was formerly COO in Australia’s most successful renewable energy company - Windlab. He has worked in the Canadian, USA, NZ and South African electricity systems.