Solar goes to College

As you just read. And it is that the University of Adelaide has decided to go solar and the installation of a solar farm on the Roseworthy campus has already begun!

The 1.2MW solar energy facility will incorporate a 420kw/1200kWh hybrid energy storage element – a combination of lithium-ion and vanadium flow batteries.

Work commenced on August 19th at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus on a solar farm with battery storage that will form part of a microgrid.

This will be the University’s first embedded microgrid and improve emergency back-up facilities for Roseworthy campus.

In addition to providing more than 40% of Roseworthy campus electricity requirements and slashing energy-related emissions, the facility will be an important educational and research tool.

Several research projects associated with the energy storage system will be conducted each year for three years. Some of the research will involve testing the performance and reliability of the battery technology used in the hot, dry conditions Roseworthy often experiences during summer (for example, it reached 47.2C in Roseworthy on January 24).

The $7 million project has been assisted with a $780,000 grant from the South Australian Renewable Technology Fund and is expected to be operational by May next year.

“The solar farm will be a ‘living laboratory’ for students and researchers, with access to a time-lapse recording of the construction, building plans and data systems for remote-energy management, energy storage, and load flex,” said the University of Adelaide Chief Operating Officer Bruce Lines. “Our researchers will utilise the solar farm and battery storage systems for projects including energy management strategies, grid segregation, low-cost fault detection systems, system resilience, and cybersecurity.” also added.

Roseworthy Solar Farm is the eighth solar project the University has undertaken under its Campus Sustainability Plan, which set a goal of 2MW of solar PV installed on-site by 2020.