Page 754
Previous/Next Page
Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 11

I The Present Energy Economy

II Australian Energy Consumption

III Research And Development
i Electrical Research Board
ii Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
iii National Energy Research Development and Demonstration Council
iv National Energy Advisory Council

IV Coal

V Oil And Natural Gas

VI Solar Energy

VII Nuclear Energy

VIII Bagasse Firewood And Other Biomass

IX Electric Power Generation And Distribution electric Power Generation And Distribution

X Manufactured Gas

XI Industrial Process Heat



Contact us
Research And Development

Electrical Research Board

The importance of electric power for the development of Australia's industries and for the welfare of its people has been responsible for a continuous growth in the demand for electricity and therefore the installation of more and more generating capacity. Because power stations where possible, are located on coal fields, and the centres of load are widely separated, it was necessary to build an extensive transmission system.

Thus we have seen evolving a vast system extending over several thousands of kilometres; as a consequence, research and development (R&D) in Australia has been concerned largely with electric power systems technology. This work has been carried out in the universities with funding provided by the State power utilities and electricity distribution Councils through the Electrical Research Board.

The Electrical Research Board was set up in 1945 and consisted of representatives of the Electricity Supply Association of Australia, the universities, and CSIRO. Its general objective was to be the fostering of electrical research in universities and it has provided extensive funding for a large number of projects. The Board has also made possible the establishment of a number of major research and test facilities.

Early projects concentrated on systems development and analysis. These led to the establishment of a model power system facility at the University of Sydney in the 1960s and an electronic simulation facility at Monash University in the 1970s. Other universities are now using digital computers for system simulation.

A high voltage test laboratory was set up in the University of Queensland in the 50s and has been used to develop methods for protecting electrical equipment from lightning strikes. For high power testing, a facility using synthetic testing techniques has been established at the University of Sydney with a capacity of 4.5 GVA.


Magnetohydrodynamic, MHD, processes, which can generate electricity without using the conventional turbo-alternator, offer the prospect of more efficient use of coal for power generation. Researchers at the University of Sydney are using an MHD facility which has been set up at the White Bay Power Station of the Electricity Commission of New South Wales to study and further develop these processes.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - CSIRO; Electrical Research Board; Electricity Commission of New South Wales; Electricity Supply Association of Australia

Previous Page Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Next Page

© 1988 Print Edition page 785, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher