Our Energy business unit works with local and global organisations on research that aims to improve renewable energy technologies, develop more efficient and sustainable fuel technologies and energy storage solutions and improve energy efficiency. This section provides information resources to discover our national and international work in renewables and energy.

Our energy research

We partner with local and global organisations to deliver energy solutions, services and research focused on sustainability and productivity. These presentations provide information about our energy research capabilities, facilities and infrastructure and success stories.

Our facilities

Success stories

BuildingIQ technology

Our OptiCOOL technology, commercialised by BuildingIQ, improves energy efficiency, reduces excessive energy consumption and saves money. Find out more about BuildingIQ. 

[Upbeat music plays and a question mark appears on screen, it moves to the side and numbers, increasing from 5 % to 31 %, play on screen]

Narrator: There’s one kind of manmade object that is responsible for a third of energy related greenhouse gas emissions and they’re also tipped to be the largest and cheapest source of reductions in emissions.

[Image changes to show a row of question marks that turn to reveal a picture of each of the items the narrator mentions below]

It’s not cars, ships or planes, it’s buildings, specifically the commercial air-conditioning and heating requirements that keep us comfortable.

[Image changes to show a row of buildings, all with cooling systems on the roof. Six faces pop out of the windows of the buildings and alternate between a sad and smiling face]

To work toward reducing this huge energy demand we created a system called OptiCOOl, which was then commercialized as BuildingIQ.

[Image changes to show a bar graph with three columns representing low energy efficiency and high energy consumption and cost rates of current cooling systems]

[Image changes to show a bar graph with three columns now representing high energy efficiency and low energy consumption and cost rates of the BuildingIQ cooling system]

It’s an air-conditioning control system that increases energy efficiency, lowers energy consumption by up to 30 per cent and saves money.

[An animation of the effectiveness of the BuildingIQ system plays out on screen, with representative icons of each of the things the narrator explains below appearing on screen]

BuildingIQ attaches to any existing commercial heating, ventilation and air-conditioning control system and intelligently monitors and adjusts building conditions based on real-time information such as weather data, energy pricing, comfort models and real-time feedback from the building occupants, who can say, online, if they’re too hot or too cold.

[Image changes to show a bar graph where the lines are decreasing or increasing depending on which dot point the narrator is referring to – decreasing for energy consumption, costs and greenhouse gases and increasing for productivity and comfort]

It results in reduced energy consumption, lower costs, reduced greenhouse gases and increased productivity through improved occupant comfort.

[Image changes to show a world map, Sydney is marked out with a red dot and dashes move across the ocean and land on a section labeled New York]

BuildingIQ is being used in a range of buildings from a hospital in Sydney, to the Rockefeller Centre in New York.

[Image changes to show an outline of the U.S. in the colours of their flag. This picture turns into rows of money representing the increasing dollar figure that’s counting upwards from 1-billion dollars to 26-billion dollars]

The U.S. building market spends about 26-billion dollars on energy every year; BuildingIQ could reduce that by ten per cent, a saving of 2.6-billion dollars.

[Image changes to show rows of buildings with the BuildingIQ logo appearing on all of them]

Once again, CSIRO has developed and led to market a new product that cannot only improve the world around us, but save money, too.

[CSIRO logo appears on screen with text: Australia’s innovation catalyst]


Business partnership with Petronas

We partnered with Petronas to create a material for repair of underwater oil and gas pipelines. Find out more about our offshore oil and gas research.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: We asked CSIRO]

[Upbeat music plays with rapid image flashes of various factory equipment and employees in a water tank]

Petronas is the national oil and gas company in Malaysia.

[Image changes to Dr Leong Kok Hoong of Petronas]

We asked CSIRO to help us way back in 2007. We approached them and explained to them about our problems.

[Image changes to employees working with pipeline]

Pipeline and rises, as you can imagine, are critical assets for our business.

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

So we spend a lot of time and effort ensuring that they run smoothly and there are no unplanned shutdowns.

[Image changes to pipe being repaired in water tank]

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

We needed to repair our pipelines underwater, but unfortunately there were no systems that would allow us to take these repairs subsea.

[Image changes to show resin being applied to small pipe in a tub]

CSIRO came up with a resin that would allow us to incorporate engineering fibres into it. With the engineering fibres and resin, we were able to have a composite material that we can take subsea.

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

And we applied it in our rises in one of our offshore platforms.

[Image changes to show an offshore platform]

[Camera pans to show aerial view of oil refinery]

Since then, we have commercialised the product and in the last two years we have applied this new repair system in our operations, in over twenty operating units.

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

[Image changes to show employees conducting repairs in water tank]

Although currently we are targeting the application in the oil and gas industry, we are actually actively looking at opportunities to apply in the mining industry, in the marine industry and also in general engineering industry.

[Image changes back to resin being applied to small pipe in a tub]

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

The skills and expertise of the team at CSIRO that we work with, complemented the skills of the Petronas team very well.

[Image changes back to employees in water tank]

[Image changes back to Dr Leong Kok Hoong]

They have great scientists, they have great resources and most of all, they have a great track record.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

Petronas :  Petronas is an example of just one of our successful business partnerships

Solar thermal in Cyprus

Our scientists partnered with the Cyprus Institute to design and install a solar field in Pentakomo, on the island's southern coast. The research facility will be used to generate electricity and to provide fresh water by powering energy intensive desalination plants. Find our more about our solar technology in Cyprus.

[Music plays and text appears: Bringing our solar expertise to Cyprus]

[Image changes to show Mike Collins, CSIRO Mechanical Engineer]

Mike Collins: My name’s Mike, I’m a mechanical engineer here at CSIRO. I travelled to Cyprus in 2014 as part of the Cyprus Solar Thermal Project to build the heliostats and install them into the field there.

[Image changes to show aerial footage of a field of heliostats]

[Time lapse footage of the heliostat field being constructed plays on screen]

We got to enjoy the fantastic coastal location of the heliostat field there; it’s built right on the edge of the ocean where they access sea water for desalination.

[Image has changed back to show Mike]

The project has 50 heliostats, which concentrate light up onto the top of the tower where they can use the heat from the heliostats, which comes from the sun; they can use that heat to desalinate water and to also create electricity.

[Image changes to show time lapse footage of the construction of the heliostats in a factory type setting and then changes to show footage of the heliostat field being erected]

The field, in total, can collect around 150 kilowatts of energy, so around about enough energy to boil a two litre jug of water in around five seconds.

[Image changes to show Professor Costas Papanicolas]

Professor Costas Papanicolas: Cyprus, an island state, the southernmost and easternmost state of the European Union has lots of sunshine, not enough water and is cut off from the continental power grid of Europe, so we need electricity and water. So solar energy, we think, is the answer to part of this problem.

[Time lapse footage of the heliostat field being constructed plays on screen]

Trying to desalinate water with using solar energy, and at the same time produce electricity.

[Image changes to show Professor Papanicolas and CSIRO staff walking through the heliostat field together and then changes to show Professor Papanicolas]

CSIRO has a lot of those technologies, frankly, we think among the best in the world, and we would like to learn from the research being done here, import some of these technologies and develop a cooperation agreement so we can exchange ideas, what we learn, to achieve those goals, which are useful, not only for Cyprus, but for many parts of the world.

[Image changes to show Wes Stein, CSIRO Solar Research Leader]

Wes Stein: This project has been fantastic for us; it’s the first time we’ve built our heliostats outside of our own backyard. That was a big step for us.

[Image changes to show Wes Stein and Professor Papanicolas walking through the heliostat field together and then changes to show Wes Stein]

Normally we don’t do that sort of thing, but in the case of Cyprus they were a fantastic partner, they understood the research initiatives that we were undertaking, they understood the issues associated with developing a new facility in a new country, so that partnership has worked really well and, I guess, it now sets a platform for a decade of ongoing, collaborative research between our countries. In addition, it’s given CSIRO a lot of confidence in understanding how we’re going to deploy these things outside of our own safety zone and into other environments. So that’s where we want to go, we want these things to be commercialised and build on the good research that we’re doing now.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

Bringing our solar expertise to Cyprus

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