One promising avenue in this quest is the production of green hydrogen, which can serve as a clean fuel source and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of the CSIRO Industry PhD program (iPhD), Ozee Energy, RMIT University and CSIRO are collaborating on a ground-breaking project to develop an evaluation tool for hybrid wind turbine and hydrogen electrolyser for green hydrogen production. This initiative seeks to leverage cutting-edge technology and research to assess the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of green hydrogen production, with the goal of driving the adoption of sustainable energy practices.
CSIRO Industry PhD Program
The iPhD program brings together academia, industry partners, and Australia's leading scientific agency, CSIRO, to embark on four-year industry-focused PhD projects. These projects aim to advance research while addressing real-world challenges and fostering innovation in collaboration with industry stakeholders. The program aligns with the Australian Government's objective to bridge the gap between university research and commercialisation outcomes, promoting economic growth and productivity.
Green hydrogen evaluation tool
The Ozee Energy, RMIT and CSIRO project focuses on the development of an evaluation tool for hybrid wind turbine and hydrogen electrolyser for green hydrogen production. The project is driven by a commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions and assessing the viability of green hydrogen production at specific geographic locations.
Project partner Divyesh Patel, Founder and Managing Director of Ozee Energy, explains the project’s objectives.
“In this project we are exploring the options on how we can optimise the cost of green hydrogen and ammonia production using renewable technologies. This will support local government and other private companies to expedite their process for net zero targets.”
Dr Nawshad Haque, a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO with the Energy Business Unit, and one of two student supervisors, sheds light on the importance of the project.
“The project focuses on evaluating renewable energy and co-located electrolyser configurations for financial pre-feasibility assessment. While many configurations and scenarios exist, quantitative evaluation based on technology combinations is essential for determining the cost of produced hydrogen and green molecules. This research addresses the dearth of detailed techno-economic modelling tools for Australian conditions.”
Expected outcome for industry
The project's expected outcomes include identifying the optimal technology combinations for green hydrogen production below AUD$1/kg, and assessing the feasibility of hybrid wind turbine-fitted electrolysis for cost-effective green hydrogen production.
Broad ranging student benefits
Md Masud Rana, the iPhD student involved in the project, began this journey with a conversation with student supervisor Professor Firoz Alam at RMIT. He recognized the project's potential and its alignment with his career aspirations, leveraging his fifteen years of industry experience.
Masud highlights several benefits he expects to gain from the iPhD experience.
“The project's cutting-edge nature enhances my research abilities and encourages creative thinking in the field of renewable energy management. I also anticipate gaining in-depth technical knowledge and experience in emerging technologies.”
The importance of working within a team can not be underestimated. Masud explains, “working with professional researchers, CSIRO, and RMIT expands my professional network and collaboration skills. I’m also looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of real-world applications and industry motivations.”
Professor Alam outlines why students like Masud can benefit from the iPhD program.
“PhD students with prior industry experience are well suited for this kind of project as they have holistic views and a wide spectrum of understanding of new technology needs and the application of such technologies to solve real-world engineering problems.”
“The collaborative effort among the university, CSIRO, and industry makes the research project more applied, realistic, and beneficial for all parties involved. Furthermore, the research student gets exposure to real-world industry needs and expectations. The resources of CSIRO, RMIT, and Ozee Energy allow the project to be undertaken more efficiently.”
Future endeavours: what’s next?
Upon completing his iPhD, Masud envisions a range of possibilities, including further research, paper publication, working in research and development departments, or even entrepreneurship, demonstrating the versatility and potential of his iPhD research experience.
The Ozee Energy/RMIT project exemplifies the power of collaboration between academia, industry, and a leading scientific agency like CSIRO in driving innovation and sustainability. Through the CSIRO Industry PhD program, students like Masud gain valuable research experience while contributing to the development of critical tools for a sustainable energy future. This initiative aligns with Australia's commitment to translating research into commercial outcomes, fostering economic growth, and addressing the global challenge of climate change.