Murdoch University is widely regarded as an Australian leader in renewable energy research, hosting several research institutes focused on renewable energy development. The Australian Cooperative
Research Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) is one of the best
research and training institutes in the region for this technology. The Environmental Technology Centre (ETC) is now a United Nations–
endorsed centre, one of only four in the world with researchers at the ETC specialists in developing small and community scale technologies. The University is also home to the Murdoch University
Energy Research Institute (MUERI).
A few of the successful projects undertaken by these groups include:
• Remote area power supply (RAPS) – Murdoch houses a RAPS
to improve the reliability and efficiency of energy systems. Research areas have included building inverters for power electronics, optimal diesel hybrid systems,
fuel cells, wind generators and photovoltaics, as well as monitoring software for designing RAPS systems.
• Batteries – Researchers developed a zinc-bromide battery, which can be used to store energy from renewable energy sources or from the grid at times of low power usage. A sensor that detects the rate of charge held in lead acid batteries used in remote area power supplies is currently under development.
• Biofuel – Planting Western Oil Mallee trees in salt-affected land has provided a source of biofuel, which is currently being trialled in a local prototype power station. Eucalyptus oil may be extracted as a useful by-product from the process, as well as activated carbon.
Murdoch has excellent facilities including numerous monitoring and testing facilities and also the newly established ACRELab, which offers the opportunity to test hybrid RAPS systems and components in controlled environments.
Possible PhD projects in renewable energy at Murdoch could include the following areas:
• The development, simulation and testing of hybrid RAPS systems suitable for remote areas in Botswana.
• The evaluation of renewable energy systems for remote applications in Botswana.
• The potential of grid-connected renewables for Botswana. • The monitoring and analysis of renewable RAPS systems in Botswana. • The possibility of transfer of technology from Australia to Botswana in the area of renewable RAPS systems.
For further information contact Professor Philip Jennings
through the Office of Research and Development on +61 8 9360 6858 or firstname.lastname@example.org