Solar panels, once exclusively the domain of forward-thinking residential construction companies, are taking on the commercial construction sector that are keen on reducing their carbon foot print and cash in on government clean energy schemes.
Around 60% of Australian commercial property’s energy use is heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, much of which could be off-set by the use of solar technology, such as the recently developed solar-powered commercial air conditioning system that is being tested as a potential solution at a shopping centre in Ballarat, Victoria.
The air conditioner works on the basis that it produces and stores energy that is then used to power the air conditioning system throughout the shopping centre, adjusting the amount of heating or cooling to match the needs of the building throughout the seasons.
This is a massive step toward towards clean, reliable heating and cooling in the commercial construction sector and has the potential to change the way the way we build.
There are further projects being undertaken across Australia on other commercial sites. In Coober Pedy, South Australia, the entire town is working towards becoming a renewable energy township with the help of Hydro Tasmania, using wind and solar with the goal to power 70% of the remote community’s needs.
Also in South Australia, Port Augusta is building a solar storage power station in conjunction with Solastor, which will use concave mirrors to focus sunlight and hopefully position the town as a world leader in the deployment of large scale solar energy, while also creating hundreds of jobs in the region.
These technologies and pilot programs have the ability to change the entire construction industry and reduce our remote communities dependence on trucked-in diesel to power their townships.