Growing Local Expertise in Australia

June 6, 2018

Western Australian manufacturer of back-up power equipment Magellan Power has celebrated the completion of a collaborated PHD with Mojtaba Saleh from Curtin University, pictured above with his PHD entitled “Smoothing of Photovoltaic Generation.”

The PHD completed by Dr. Saleh and supervised by Magellan Power’s Chief Technical Officer Lindsay Meek, assisted Magellan Power to create an industry leading sky imaging product called the “Sky Eye” which “sees” incoming weather and mitigates the effect of passing clouds on solar generation.

Managing Director of Magellan Power Masoud Abshar said this was a fantastic example of what can be achieved when industry and universities work together. “This is real Research and Development. We take an idea to the university and turn it into a real product, with a real commercial outcome, while growing Australian know-how and creating smart jobs.”

“Many people have given up on Australian manufacturing, because it’s hard, it’s expensive, and it’s easier to just import a product from Germany the US or China. But the reality is that we have very capable people here and a wealth of knowledge in our universities. All it takes is the will to utilise them.”

About the Sky Eye: Using the Sky Eye, the Magellan Solar Smoother “smooths the effect of passing clouds on solar generation. Without it, a sudden drop in the solar generation can cause a spike in demand on the connected grid which can then cause a failure of the power supply. The innovation comes after Western Australia’s Regional Grid Power Supplier Horizon Power mandated several years ago that all new solar installations using its grid be equipped with technology to smooth the transition of renewable energy, and give time for the generators to react to a cloud event.  The solar smoothing equipment uses real-time information from the Sky Camera (Sky Eye) to predict cloud’s motions for periods of 12 minutes ahead, and applies ramp down before the arrival of moving clouds. 

Dr. Saleh says his time collaborating with Magellan was invaluable to the successful completion of his PHD.

“Throughout my PhD research, the Magellan R&D team shared their extensive industrial experience, which helped me significantly in design, prototype development, and the testing stages of the project,” he said.

“Not only did I acquire considerable engineering and technical skills, but I also gained valuable experience dealing with the technical requirements of Horizon Power, and the Australian market.”

For technical questions on the Magellan Sky Eye, or questions on university collaborations, please contact us: [email protected].

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