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4 November 2015 News Release

[Music plays, animation appears on screen of a satellite in outer space over the earth and the view zooms in on a building in Australia]

Narrator:  There is place, right here in Australia, where brilliant minds from science and industry work together tirelessly to unlock the hidden secrets of energy for today, for future generations, forever


[Image changes to show people constructing an object inside a building]


[Image changes to show a man and a woman working at a computer] 

[Image changes to show various images of people working on an object inside a building]

[Image changes to show various images of people swinging on a swing]


[Image changes to show light patterns appearing, and text appears on screen:  Infinity] 

[CSIRO logo appears on screen with text:  INFINITY, The Pursuit of Forever.  Customs House, Sydney, 4th–8th November Federation Square, Melbourne, 16th–21st November.  Ride the Infinity Swing csiro/au/infinity]

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During November, thousands of Australians will hop on the swing and see their movements turned into energy to power a stunning light and sound installation.

Each swing powers a light above its seat and an original ambient music composition that changes with the speed and strength of your swinging. When all eight seats are in motion the word ‘INFINITY’ is illuminated.

The Infinity Swing will be opened at Customs House Square in Sydney from 2pm today until 8 November before heading to Federation Square in Melbourne from 16 to 21 November.

CSIRO research director, Glenn Platt, said the Infinity Swing aims to spark a conversation about how energy can be sustainable and affordable for every Australian now and into the future.

"As the swing shows, energy isn’t easy to generate – just look at how hard you need to swing to light up a letter," Dr Platt said.

"Energy isn't frivolous and it isn't free, so the challenge for Australia is how to keep energy affordable and available while protecting our planet.

"CSIRO has got some of the brightest minds in the country developing solutions to this challenge, and the good news is that they don’t involve cold showers, warm beer or other dramatic changes to people’s lifestyles.

"The answer lies with innovation, and it's at the heart of what we do."

Energy sustainability is one of the greatest challenges facing the world.

Cost, electricity demand, emergence of new technologies and environmental imperatives will all have an impact on how our energy is sourced in the future.

"Getting the energy mix right is an opportunity for Australia," CSIRO Executive Director Dr Alex Wonhas said.

"The CSIRO Infinity Swing is about starting this discussion and showing the community how science and technology has a key role to play in developing smart energy efficient solutions.

"These technologies are allowing people in Australia to continue to do the things that they love, but with greater comfort, more affordability and less emissions."

The CSIRO Infinity Swing will be open to the community for free from 7:30am to 10:00pm on weekdays and from 10am to 10:00pm on weekends.

Representatives from CSIRO will be on hand to discuss their ongoing energy research.

The community can access more information about the CSIRO Infinity Swing, the organisation’s energy innovations and practical energy efficiency tips for in the home on the Infinity campaign website.


Background information

CSIRO's top energy innovations

You may have heard of CSIRO as the people that invented wi-fi, or more recently 3D printed a heel that saved a man's foot, but the organisation's energy credentials are equally impressive.

  • OptiCOOL – a unique air conditioning and cooling system that responds to how you are feeling, saving money and lowering emissions. Commercialised by BuildingIQ in 2009, the technology now controls more than 20 million square feet of floor space in Australia and the US, including the iconic Rockefeller Centre in New York.
  • UltraBattery – this super-fast charging battery is 70 per cent cheaper to produce than other similar performing batteries, but with a life cycle that's two to three times longer. Commercialised by Ecoult, it can store renewable energy and is being used in Honda's hybrid car, the Odyssey.
  • AccuRate – a software tool that’s the industry benchmark for assessing the energy efficiency of homes, helping Australians move into a new era of comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Supercritical steam – CSIRO is using solar energy to generate hot and pressurised 'supercritical' steam, at the highest temperatures in the world, outside of fossil fuel sources. This local clean energy breakthrough has been taken to the world, with heliostat solar fields installed in Cyprus and underway in Japan.
  • Eddy home energy app – a new tool that allows people to control their electricity consumption remotely at any time. It’s been commercialised by Australian company HabiDapt and is currently being trialled in Western Australia and Queensland.
  • Printable solar cells – Through the Victorian Organic Solar Cell (VICOSC) Consortium, CSIRO and its research partners have come up with the materials and processes to produce Australia's largest thin, flexible photovoltaic solar cells based on printable 'solar inks'. These are so thin that they can cover most surfaces and will allow us to use solar power in different ways.
  • Longwall automation – CSIRO in partnership with the coal industry developed an underground automation system that isolates people from mining hazards while improving productivity by up to ten per cent. Most underground coal mines in Australia are using the technology, boosting employee safety.

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