The UWA Institute of Agriculture

Energy and water systems

Further information

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Energy generation is intended to be a significant component of the farm business model, facilitating the farm to become self supporting.

Off-grid solar energy system

Clean green and ethical

The solar energy system was designed by visiting Professor Ricardo Ruther from the University of Santa Catarina, Brazil.

It was developed and delivered as a partnership between:

The 10.2KW system is totally independent from the electricity grid, and will provide 100 per cent of the energy requirements for the modern farm house constructed at the site. This includes electricity provision for a pump to bring water from the water tank to the farm house.

This system has been deliberately designed for this experimental opportunity to compare and evaluate two different types of leading technologies and their performance in a real world environment over a period of time.

The testing is between:

  • new generation, thin film technology, with
  • traditional, bulk silicon crystalline technology

This system is also a showcase of PV generation technologies, for students, the community and decision-makers.

Water management - dam

Future Farm damDavid Stanton, UWA Centre for Excellence in Ecohydrology (now closed), developed a plan for water management for the UWA Future Farm 2050. A major item was the contraction of a new dam that will collect and store sufficient water, even in the two worst rainfall years in a century, for all animals held on the farm (approx 3000 sheep).

The choice of location was affected by shallow rock, high salt levels at depth and a clay of sufficient quality to prevent leakage throughout he dam walls. The dam has inlet and outlet pipes and compacted keyways, and is expected to last for 100 years. A graded catchment with a sealed surface ensures the harvesting of water even in light rainfall.

Photo: the dam immediately after construction