Monash University is a global leader in energy research
We aim to showcase the breadth of capabilities in the field of energy at Monash University. Energy research spans a range of disciplines and expertise articulated around 6 themes: Energy resources, Materials and devices, Smart energy systems, Markets and policy, and Consumers.
For more detailed information about the university's energy capabilities and expertise in each theme, please search our researchers’ directory.
- Materials and devices
- Markets and policy
- Smart energy systems
- Clean fuels and hydrogen
- Energy grids
- Emerging technologies
- Energy futures
- Demand response
- Decision making
- Peer-to-peer trading and sharing
- Energy access and affordability, social justice
The world is facing an increasingly uncertain energy future, ushered in by climate change, population growth, decentralised power generation, new digitally-enabled lifestyles, and emerging technologies. In this context of uncertainty, it is urgent that research led by the social sciences, design and behavioural sciences plays a central role in formulating new approaches to understanding and intervening in our energy futures. This means producing new knowledge and understandings of the socio-technical relations through which energy will be consumed in the future, and developing methods to ensure that our energy futures are equitable, sustainable and support the growth of human health and wellbeing.
Materials and devices
- Next-generation solar cells: Light and energy interconversion materials
- Batteries and energy storage
- Electroactive materials
- Next-generation ultra-low energy technologies: Atomically thin and low dimensional materials
- Energy-efficient separation processes
Monash University is a global leader in energy conversion materials and devices.
Our researchers are working on a diversity of materials which are sustainable and game changers in how we generate, store and use energy. These have developed in the key areas outlined below and are currently being demonstrated through major research initiatives supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and industry.
Markets and policy
Monash Energy Institute intersects with Australian Electricity Market Initiative (AEMI) by working in some interdisciplinary manner with electrical engineers, computer scientists and storage specialists to better understand the physical characteristics of these technologies and design more appropriate pricing mechanisms.
Smart energy systems
- Sensor networks
- AI and optimisation
- Data science and ML
- Energy access
- Cognitive buildings
- Cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and blockchain
- Data visualisation and immersive analytics
Clean fuels and hydrogen
- Bio conversion
- Hydrogen and alternate fuels
- (synthetic CH4, NH3)
- CO2 capture, storage and use
- Geothermal energy
- Energy in mining
Clean fuels and hydrogen underpin an effective energy transition for Australia and Monash University is engaged in a range of research activities spanning technical, social, political and legal aspects.
Monash University has developed a technology for electrosynthesis of ammonia from air nitrogen which holds the world record in efficiency under ambient conditions. The present project will further advance this technology by developing new electrodes that will provide higher ammonia production rate, longer lifetime and maintain high selectivity. These parameters determine the energy and capital costs of the process. The project will demonstrate the ammonia production rates from renewables that support cost-effective implementation of the technology at large scale, which will accelerate progress towards a practical and scalable process.
This project aims to develop novel perovskite-based catalysts with high catalytic activity and long-term stability for the practical application of alkaline water splitting. A new family of overall water-splitting materials in alkaline media based on low-cost and earth-abundant perovskite oxides will be developed, which offer a viable alternative to the benchmark noble metal-based catalysts. Clean hydrogen energy generated by these efficient perovskite catalysts will not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions and alleviate air pollution, but also create opportunities for Australian industries, such as the widespread use of renewable solar and wind energy and fuel cell vehicles.
Sea water is the only feasible source for large-scale green hydrogen production through electrolysis, but the majority of existing low-temperature (<100°C) electrolyser devices cannot use sea water directly. Our research focuses on the development of an electrolyser system capable of splitting purified sea water to hydrogen and oxygen, with a specific emphasis on the development of electrocatalysts. Specific focus is on the durability of new materials and the overall system in an intermittent mode of operation to enable efficient coupling to renewable energy sources.
Green hydrogen as a key player of addressing climate change problems is receiving a growing amount of attention from policy makers, investors and businesses. This study aims to provide an informed analysis about the prospect of green hydrogen in the North and West Africa market. The study adopts a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach to examine the inter-related thematic dimensions that may shape the future of the green hydrogen market in the region and beyond, and implications for multinational firms in their international operations. The analytical technique developed from the study can be adapted/applied to the study of other regions.
This research activity aims to develop the framework of a life cycle analysis ( LCA) -based decision-making method, which will be used to underpin the future development of a decision support tool to enable high level decision making on the net-energy flows and environmental impacts of proposed and future energy projects that take advantage of new technologies.
While the framework is based on an LCA approach, it is not limited solely to consideration of environmental impacts, such as natural resource extractions and emission outflows. Rather, an important goal of the project is to evaluate net-energy flows using direct and indirect (embodied) energy flows. The framework will enable an assessment of impacts and energetics of a prospective hydrogen supply chain, and therefore enable a comparative assessment among competing supply options.
Heat transfer and Stratification during Shipping
The main challenge in the storage, handling and transportation of liquid hydrogen (LH2) is boil-off gas (BOG) generation which results in the loss of the valuable exportable commodity, unless it is reliquefied or utilised in an efficient manner. The production and liquefaction of hydrogen are highly energy intensive processes and therefore BOG management has an important role to play in preserving the liquid hydrogen produced. This project aims to investigate strategies, including enhanced refrigeration systems, that are cost-effective and feasible to minimise energy requirements for BOG management.
Large-scale and long-term storage of Hydrogen in underground reservoirs. This project aims to test effective strategies to re-use Australia’s depleted gas fields for large-scale, long-term, renewable energy storage. A critical challenge in the years ahead will be to effectively store large volumes of hydrogen for long periods (months and years). The overall expected outcome of this research is to fully understand the performance and the geological and environmental implications of long-term storage of hydrogen in empty gas fields.
- Wind (on/off-shore)
- Utility scale solar
- Power grids
- Grid planning
- Grid forming Inverters
- Utility scale storage
Australia’s electricity grid is embarking on a dramatic transformation, driven by new technologies and increasingly empowered customers. New energy infrastructure, new market designs and dynamic regulatory environments are required for the rapidly approaching low-carbon world. The new energy transport infrastructure needed includes new and enhanced electricity transmission, as well as new transportation infrastructure for green hydrogen and its derivatives. The latter is likely to include hydrogen pipelines. This theme primarily focuses on large-scale power grids and pipelines, while ensuring the emerging interactions between the distribution network level and bulk power systems are fully captured.
At Monash Energy Institute, we have the required expertise and capabilities to answer various questions about the ongoing energy transition. This theme focuses on the large-scale power system for which we are currently trying to address the challenge of planning and operating the energy system for economic efficiency, reliability and security on the way to 100% renewables.
Key challenges we are addressing include questions such as:
- How can we manage the secure operation of the bulk energy system with a high level of penetration of variable renewable energy sources?
- How can we integrate large-scale storage such as batteries, into the electricity grid for its stable/secure operation?
- And for all these, how do we ensure optimal investment in, and operation of, grid and storage infrastructure?
- Finally, how can we repurpose the national grid and gas pipeline network to support a decentralised energy system?
Power Engineering Advanced Research Laboratory (PEARL)