Adelaide-based green-energy technology company, PhosEnergy, are teaming up with The University of Adelaide to develop next-generation nuclear batteries for space and defence industries.

PhosEnergy – who develop innovative green-energy tech aimed at recovering useful energy resources and chemicals from unconventional or waste sources – were awarded a grant of more than $2.4 million to support the project under the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centre’s Projects (CRC-P) scheme .

The company will use the funds to further develop their long-life, reliable, maintenance and fuel-free nuclear battery technology for space and defence industries.

The University of Adelaide’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Anton Middelberg said the research will directly improve capability for the sectors.

“This funding will help our defence forces have access to cutting-edge technology that will help to ensure the safety of our nation and that of our trusted allies,” said Professor Middelberg.

“A long-life, reliable, maintenance and fuel-free power system for low-Earth orbit, lunar and deep-space applications is critical for enabling the next phases of space exploration.”

The GenX technology was invented by PhosEnergy’s Managing Director Bryn Jones and Chief Scientist Dr Julian Kelly.

Mr Jones explains that the demand for this tech is increasing rapidly.

“The burgeoning space industry and increasingly sophisticated remote defence sites where power-hungry technology is located are creating enormous demand for long-life, fuel-free power sources,” he said.

“The global market for power generation in space is already estimated to be worth US $2.8 billion a year and is forecast to continue double-digit growth for the foreseeable future, with the focus on extended missions and long-term habitation and sustainable resource recovery on the Moon.”

The project partnership includes The University of Adelaide, PhosEnergy as well as DEWC Systems, Duromer Products, the University of South Australia and the University of Western Australia.


Image: NASA | NASA’s PhoneSat 1.0 nanosatellite.