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27 June 2024 Back to news

SafeREnergy and Panda Solar set to work together to develop safer electric storage systems

According to Renew Economy, Australia is investing significantly in large-scale battery systems (10MW or above). This, combined with the fact that approximately 180,000 of Australia’s 3.7 million solar-powered homes are already equipped with batteries (The Energy Experts), increases the probability of system failures.

With the projected increase in power prices and reduction of Solar Feed-In Tariffs, the adoption of this type of power storage is anticipated to increase steadily. With the growing adoption of battery technology comes an increasing necessity to invest in the early detection of safety issues.

To tackle this, the ARC Research Hub for Safe and Reliable Energy, the University of Wollongong and industry partner Panda Solar have come together to explore an innovative, collaborative research project dedicated to enhancing battery safety through innovative approaches in electrical engineering technology. With its unparalleled ability to anticipate and prevent safety issues in large-scale lithium-ion battery systems, the technology under development is poised to prevent catastrophic incidents, representing a major leap forward in battery safety.

According to Hub Director, Professor Ying (Ian) Chen, the research fits perfectly with the Hub’s focus on novel devices and solutions, for new and improved storage and conversion technologies.

“The Hub provides an excellent opportunity for Industry partners, such as Panda Solar, to leverage the expertise available to develop systems that will accommodate future energy system safety requirements,” Prof. Chen said.

Panda Solar is a leading player in electrical engineering technology and electrical contracting of professional solar systems and farms and will bring extensive industry knowledge to this partnership.

“Through Panda’s work we recognise the benefit of ensuring that solar energy systems are paired with safer lithium-ion battery systems, capable of predicting and preventing faults from occurring,” Prof. Chen said.

SafeREnergy’s Associate Professor Khay See from the University of Wollongong will lead the project with Panda Solar. With his extensive experience in large-scale battery energy storage, Assoc. Prof. See bridges academic research and practical industry solutions, making this project a reality.

About SafeREnergy
The ARC Research Hub for Safe and Reliable Energy was established with $5 million funding from the Australian Research Council and contributions from six Australian universities. Led by Distinguished Professor Ian Chen, SafeREnergy aims to address battery safety and reliability issues and the environmental impact of current energy storage and conversion technologies.

SafeREnergy brings together Australian universities and industry to deliver a new generation of technologies for storage, from small-scale portable devices to large-scale industrial applications, using recycled and natural materials and eliminating the serious fire risk in current technologies. Outcomes include innovative integrated energy conversion and storage technologies and new energy materials and devices designed for different scale applications, benefiting the Australian economy, and potentially transforming the energy industry landscape.

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