Dr Robert Taylor

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University of New South Wales

Solar Energy

Dr Taylor’s research is focused on developing solar energy technology which converts sunlight into heat, rather than electricity, called solar thermal collectors. This heat can warm buildings, process food and materials, or drive a steam power plant. Taken together, these applications could deliver most of our energy needs.

In Australia, so far, the tremendous potential of solar energy has been largely untapped. Solar thermal technology has been around for a long time, but new knowledge, tools and materials now make it possible to totally re-engineer them from the bottom up. In his work, Robert uses nano-materials and innovative optics to control the flow of light and heat inside his collector designs.

Robert engages closely with Standards Australia, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, and the CRC for Low Carbon Living to developing standards and support mechanisms for solar technologies.

He is also working with the Australian Energy Market Operator to develop and implement a solar forecasting system to improve reliability and cost of producing solar energy from a variety of technologies. Also, through his involvement with the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating, he has co-developed energy information sessions for the general public.