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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

IV Coal

V Oil And Natural Gas

VI Solar Energy
i Research and Development
ii The state of the art
iii Collectors
iv The solar water heating industry
v Industrial applications
vi Swimming pool heating
vii Building heating and cooling
viii Photovoltaics
ix Wind power
x Cooling
xi The International Solar Energy Society

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



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Solar cooling for comfort is technically practicable using the lithium bromide-water vapour absorption cycle but is economically unattractive. Solar refrigeration for food preservation has been demonstrated, but is unlikely to be able to compete with mechanical vapour compression systems. On the other hand, very simple passive systems like the canvas water bag and the Coolgardie safe which can bring water and food to within a few degrees of the wet bulb temperature were widely used until about 50 years ago and probably still do have an application, particularly when the night time wet bulb is low. Semi-passive systems such as evaporative coolers and electric fans are being re-discovered as being very economical ways of reducing thermal stress to acceptable levels in the Australian climate. Companies such as Bonaire in Adelaide have developed evaporative cooling to the point where units can be supplied for large areas like supermarkets and airport lounges, offices, houses and even as personal coolers for one or two people in a room.

The use of shades to exclude unwanted solar radiation on north, west and sometimes east facing windows is now widely practised. An unusual example is the sails structure at the Yulara resort, where 65 sails shade the main outdoor and indoor function areas and induce air circulation. Where the sail cover buildings, it is claimed that they reduce the air conditioning demand by up to 40 per cent.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Bonaire Pyrox; Yulara tourist resort, Ayers Rock NT.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 814, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher