Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre
The Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre (DKASC) is a unique Australian facility in Alice Springs that demonstrates solar technologies to the general public, educators and the renewable energy industry. The Solar Centre has been operating as a working demonstration of the potential of solar power in Australian since 2008, and was awarded a 2009 Engineering Excellence Award for its role in research and innovation.
An initiative of CAT Projects and Desert Knowledge Australia, the Solar Centre was funded by the Australian Government through the Regional Remote Power Generation Program. CAT Projects has been involved from the project's inception, overseeing a tender process and the installation of 27 technologies, totalling 201 kW in solar power capacity, from 15 proponents.
CAT Projects has also developed the Solar Centre as an educational site, presenting the science of the working grid-connect, solar power plant to the visiting public. The Solar Centre website also provides an educational resource to the public with live online data showing the performance of different arrays through the extremes of Alice Springs' climate.
The specification of precision metering and the development of an automated data monitoring system have consolidated the Solar Centre's value in education and research. Performance data from the installed technologies is distributed via the Solar Centre website to research institutions in Australia and around the world.
Since its opening in 2008, the Solar Centre has become an important reference for the solar industry as it grows rapidly in Central Australia and across the nation. CAT Projects continues to operate and maintain the Solar Centre, and is in the process of developing and expanding the Solar Centre further.