Australian Power and Energy Research Institute

The Australian Power and Energy Research Institute (APERI) is working towards preparing industry for the global energy transition, promoting sustainability and resilience and fostering innovation through research and technology to equip engineers, scientists, and professionals.

Leading global transformation

As the power and energy technology sectors are rapidly changing, the global transformation in these sectors needs to be accelerated to achieve sustainability and to limit climate change. The transition to a sustainable future is seemingly evident through rapidly reducing renewable energy costs, greatly improved energy efficiencies, increasing the use of “smart” technologies, and wide applications of energy storage. With this ongoing transition, there is increasing pressure to integrate new energy technologies and systems into the existing infrastructure. Further efforts need to be placed in the power, energy, and transport sectors to accelerate the progress of the transition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. APERI has been created to drive this for our better future.

The power and energy researchers of the institute are recognised for their high-quality research and strong partnerships with industry. APERI also plays a significant role to transform the power and energy sector to have a sustainable energy future with low carbon technologies. The objective of APERI is to make the power and energy sector stronger and more robust that can adapt quickly to changes. The institute has created a framework that can build up partnerships between UOW and the industry and government through the development of mutually beneficial topics of interest, which can strengthen the research cooperation among the various stakeholders.

Recent projects

Total Grant Value: $5,000,000

Project started: 2022

Project Duration: Five Years

Project Sponsored by: Australian Research Council (ARC) through ARC ITRP Scheme

Universities (7): University of Wollongong (Admin), University of New South Wales, University of Tasmania, University of Queensland, Deakin University, Curtin University, Adelaide University

Industries (16): Hydro Tasmania, Powerlink Queensland, TasNetworks, Essential Energy, ZECO Energy, Oztron Energy, UPC\AC Renewables, TPS Energy, Ingeteam Australia, Abel Energy, Village Energy, GHD, API, 123V, CSIRO, Shoalhaven Water.

Summary: The proposed Future Grids Training Centre will advance Australia’s transition to a clean energy future. It will address the complex and challenging issues currently limiting the growth of renewable energy through innovations that facilitate widespread integration of these resources into electricity grids while maintaining grid stability. The Centre will deliver the next generation of industry leaders and specialists in future grid technologies for renewable energy generation, transmission and distribution, supported by renewable hydrogen energy storage and market driven customer responsiveness enabled by new information and communications technologies, to provide a more sustainable, reliable, secure and affordable electricity system.

Total Grant Value: $14,000

Project started: 2021

Project Duration: One Year

Project Sponsored by: HWU UOW 2021 Collaborative Research Grant Scheme

Personnel involved: two Chief Investigators from UOW Dubai, two Chief Investigators from Heriot-Watt University, three Chief Investigators from UOW

Total Grant Value: $165,000

Project started: 2021

Project Duration: Four Years

Project Sponsored by: Future Fuels CRC

Personnel involved: Three Chief Investigators (all from UOW) and PhD Students

Total Grant Value: $480,469

Project started: 2020

Project Duration: Three Years

Project Sponsored by: Australian Research Council (ARC) through ARC Discovery Project

Personnel involved: Three Chief Investigators (all from UOW), two Partner Investigators (one from Singapore and one from Denmark), Research Fellow and PhD Students

Summary: The research aims to design, develop and implement a next-generation, compact and lightweight, smart solid-state transformer with a newly developed high-frequency magnetic link and power converters that will provide a better and faster voltage transformation and regulation and support the power grids. The proposed research will revolutionize the power grids by replacing the traditional transformer with a new device made of solid-state power modules that will have multi-feature and multi-function ability and control facilities. The technology developed in this research will help make energy networks more efficient, smart, reliable and flexible, having direct benefits to renewable energy growth, with a long-term impact on the national economy.

Total Grant Value: $28,500

Project started: 2019

Project Duration: Two Years

Project Sponsored by: University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) through Research Collaboration Fund (RCF) Project

Personnel involved: Four Chief Investigators (two from UOW and two from Surrey, UK)

Summary: It is urgent to develop energy storage technologies based on earth-abundant, cost-effective materials for serving grid-scale and distributed storage applications. Substantial attentions have drawn towards the promising secondary sodium ion batteries, while dendrites and flammable electrolytes caused safety issues considerably slow down the progress. Here we will develop the novel sodium-ion battery with liquid dendrite-free alloy anode and low-temperature eutectic molten salt electrolyte, which could enhance the battery performance. Since the operating temperatures could be modulated by tuning the ratio in Na-K alloy and eutectic molten salts, based on the electrical modelling and simulation for effective operation and improved efficiency, a series of optimal components will be determined for grid and off-grid applications. Power electronic interface with innovative control will be designed and validated.