Energy research the way of the future

Griffith University is taking on Tesla in developing powerful battery storage solutions that change the way we use energy.

Researchers are developing low-cost and high performance energy storage systems that will allow people to sell power back to the grid when tariffs are the highest.

Professor Eddie Zhang and Professor Jun Wei Lu have combined their expertise to develop a comprehensive energy solution and management system.

The battery system using the advanced Si and aluminium electrodes developed, as well as the innovative binding technologies developed by Professor Zhang’s team at Griffith would not only boost the energy storage capacity by more than one fold, but also convert the current lithium ion battery cell manufacturing.

Currently materials used are expensive and toxic but Griffith’s solution is low-cost and environmentally friendly.

Griffith University also has six people doing electric car research, including developing a wireless power charger.

People would be able to store their energy in their car and send any excess power back to the grid or draw it when needed.

Storage solutions are needed when there is no wind from turbines or no sun for solar generation.

Tesla’s system can produce 14kw/h for the home while Griffith’s research is working with 140kw/h for a commercial building.

“Vehicle-to-grid is the future trend we will see,” said Professor Lu.

“Demands on electricity grids are changing rapidly in the modern world as consumers expect ever better power reliability.”

Griffith University pioneered microgrid solutions, opening the Peak Demand Energy Management Facility or MicroGrid at its Nathan campus in 2014.

Professor Lu is also developing a project to provide energy solutions to 33 remote communities in Queensland with no power grid connection.