COLLABORATION

Deakin propels Australia’s energy sector with new energy storage centre

SOURCE: Biel Morro/Unsplash
The centre will advance Australia's energy sector and foster key public-private collaborations.

Deakin University recently launched an AU$6 million-plus energy storage centre that will advance Australia’s development of next-generation clean energy technologies and foster the collaboration between academic researchers and industry partners. 

The ARC Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies (storEnergy) was supported by an AU$4.4 million Federal Government grant and serves Australia’s energy sector by producing materials on a commercial scale for electrolytes and high energy density electrodes.

The facility is also an energy training hub that will foster regular public-private collaborations while making use of the university’s extensive state-of-the-art facilities. 

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storEnergy was launched at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus by university Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin and Victoria Senator Sarah Henderson who also inspected the new hub. 

“What we are celebrating today is the start of an exciting collaboration between leaders in academia, government and industry to increase our domestic knowledge and drive innovative solutions to Australia’s energy needs,” said Professor Martin during the launch.

“storEnergy symbolises the type of partnership that Deakin is prioritising, and we believe this is the future of innovation in Australia. Continued advancement in clean energy technologies, including generation, storage, and secure systems management, will be fundamental to Australia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change and address increasing demands for energy,” he added.

“Deakin has the capability and relationships to help drive this transformation to a more sustainable energy solution, and by doing so, we are supporting the communities we serve in a practical, future-oriented way.”

energy storage
Researchers will work closely with industry partners in the new centre. Source: Blaz Erzetic/Unsplash.

According to storEnergy centre director and Alfred Deakin Professor Maria Forsyth, researchers will now be able to design and manufacture new energy storage devices and components with improved rate capability, capacity and safety by working closely with industry partners at the new centre. 

These components include advanced Li-ion, supercapacitors, and solid-state Li and Na batteries.

Industry partners involved with the centre include Boron Molecular, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO), Defence, Science and Technology (DST) Group, SupraG Energy, Calix Ltd, Sensorplex, Ionic Industries, Ciditec, Sentek, M Brodribb Pty Ltd, and Raedyne Systems.

storEnergy operations will also utilise the expertise of other higher education partners from Monash University, Melbourne University, Queensland University of Technology, and University of South Australia.

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“The potential of this centre excites me as a scientist and the fact we will initially employ 15 PhD students, five research fellows and a research engineer makes me proud as this centre’s first Director,” said Professor Forsyth. 

“The facilities, processes and partnerships we have in place will equip the next generation of researchers and the energy technology workforce with the skills needed to drive innovation, exploration and investigation.”

Deakin University expects to advance its research in the energy sector and create intellectual property in advanced energy materials, batteries and battery-controlled systems. 

This will be instrumental in elevating small to medium-sized businesses in the region to play world-leading roles to advance and produce new storage technologies.

storEnergy’s operations will utilise Deakin University’s other world-class assets such as the Battery Technology Research and Innovation Hub (Bat-TRI Hub), the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), the Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET), the Deakin Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), and the Carbon Nexus carbon fibre and composite research centre.