DKA Solar Centre

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Live demonstrations of solar technology that drive research around the world.


The Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralia Solar Cen­tre, launched in 2008 in Alice Springs, is the largest mul­ti-tech­nol­o­gy solar demon­stra­tion facil­i­ty in the world. The site pro­vides a space for dif­fer­ent solar pho­to­volta­ic tech­nolo­gies to be installed, oper­at­ed and mon­i­tored under the same conditions.

The unique facil­i­ty cur­rent­ly hous­es over 40 instal­la­tions from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers; and show­cas­es live demon­stra­tions of pho­to­volta­ic tech­nolo­gies span­ning many types, ages, makes, mod­els and con­fig­u­ra­tions. The arid region’s typ­i­cal­ly sun­ny and cloud-free skies pro­vide favourable weath­er con­di­tions for the site, which gen­er­ates an aver­age of 420,000 kilo­watt hours annu­al­ly. The Solar Cen­tre sup­plies approx­i­mate­ly 40% of the pow­er con­sumed at the Desert Knowl­edge Precinct, sav­ing over 330 tonnes of green­house gas emis­sions per year.

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The DKA Solar Cen­tre web­site hosts live open-access ener­gy per­for­mance data from its arrays and infor­ma­tion from onsite weath­er sta­tions. Cater­ing to 10,000 web­site vis­i­tors each year, the data is accessed for research, invest­ment, tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment, edu­ca­tion and pri­vate use.

The data also sup­ports research ini­tia­tives from Aus­tralian and inter­na­tion­al organ­i­sa­tions under­tak­ing sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies in pho­to­volta­ic sys­tems, pow­er grids, clean ener­gy, and relat­ed fields. Research has cov­ered top­ics such as solar pen­e­tra­tion in Aus­tralia, PV pow­er fore­cast­ing, the impact of grid volt­age on PV sys­tem per­for­mance, and assess­ments of PV mod­el­ling software.

The site, which was ini­tial­ly estab­lished with $3.1m fund­ing from the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment, is now com­mer­cial­ly self-sus­tain­able. DKA part­ners with engi­neer­ing firm Ekisti­ca to man­age the Solar Centre’s ongo­ing operations.

Vis­it the DKA Solar Cen­tre website.

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