Researchers from The University of Western Australia will benefit from $47.3 million in Federal Government funding for the development of solar and geothermal technologies to support Australia's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.
The (WAGCoE) will support the CSIRO's development of geothermal resource technology to cool the super computing centre for SKA in Perth.
The Pawsey High-Performance Computing Centre in Kensington, will use hot sedimentary aquifers to provide cooling in the nation's largest direct heat geothermal demonstrator, estimated to be at around 10 MWthermal.
WAGCoE Director Winthrop Professor Klaus Regenauer-Lieb said the Sustainable Energy for SKA project is a major step in the practical application of geothermal research in renewable energy.
"This project will be internationally significant for environmentally friendly supercomputing, as it's a world's first direct heat use geothermal supercomputer application. It will pave the way for new smart cities partially powered and cooled by geothermal energy," Professer Regenauer-Lieb said.
A key element of this application involves the extraction of groundwater at depth and its subsequent re-injection into the same aquifer. Only heat is mined and not water. This type of geothermal application is truly sustainable because the quantities of available hot water are vast.
The Square Kilometre Array is a global $2.5b program to build the world's largest radio telescope. Two sites have been shortlisted to host the telescope, one in Australia and New Zealand, and one in Southern Africa.
Winthrop Professor Klaus Regenauer-Lieb (Director WAGCoE) (+61 8) 6488 7321
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716