Home Articles Victorian Technology Profiles Aug/Sep 07

    Victorian Technology Profiles Aug/Sep 07

    Climate control reptile style
    In the race to find environmentally-friendly ways to cool and heat our homes, sometimes it pays to go back to basics. Living in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, Colin Gillam was sure the clear, sunny winter days could be used to warm his house, he just needed to work out how.
    Six years ago, after researching solar heating methods, Gillam designed the Sun Lizard – Australia’s first solar heating and cooling system.
    “The Sun Lizard uses a similar principle to solar hot water systems, but it warms air instead of water,” says Gillam, founder of Alternative Fuels and Energy.
    In winter, the sun warms the air in a rooftop solar collector to up to 55 degrees. Four solar-powered fans transfer the warm air to floor-level vents inside the home. In summer, the fans extract hot air from the home, allowing cooler air to replace it.
    “The result,” says Gillam “is four to six degrees warmer in winter and up to ten degrees cooler in summer. The system is quiet and environmentally-friendly, and you save up to 60 percent on your energy bills with no ongoing running costs.”
    Now there are several hundred Sun Lizards on rooftops around Australia, with plans for a new do-it-yourself product range and solar pre-heaters for existing fossil-fuelled systems.
    “We’ve now broken the Sun Lizard down into individual components, so you can buy just the solar-powered fan kit as a low-cost DIY product and use it as a heat extractor. Later, you can upgrade to a full Sun Lizard system.”
    With a mature product and plans to develop a solar-powered air conditioner – the holy grail of solar-powered climate control – Gillam is keen to explore export opportunities.
    “We are constantly fielding enquiries from North America and Europe. With funding, we look forward to developing partnerships with manufacturers and distributors in these markets.”

    Accessing the security market

    After the initial shock of the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks, security remains a high priority for business premises and public spaces such as hospitals, airports and rail terminals. As such, the development and operation of security and access systems is a dynamic and innovative industry.
    One Melbourne-based electronic engineering firm, Chip Development, is leading the field with its proprietary Control entry Operating System Network, CeOSnet. Catering for the access and security needs of small and large organisations, CeOSnet combines software and hardware components to manage access and security control devices such as access control doors, lifts and monitoring devices. Data collected in the field is fed into a management system which alerts operators of security breaches and reports access activity.
    According to Chip Development Managing Director, Tony LoRiggio, CeOSnet provides a comprehensive access control solution with some added extras.
    “We have some unique features. We can count the number of people who walk through an access door, for example, to detect tailgating. And the energy management component of our system allows lights and air-conditioning to be switched off when not required, saving greenhouse gas emissions,” says LoRiggio.
    Established in 1986, Chip Development provided services to the Commonwealth Games 2006 headquarters, as well as hospitals, manufacturing plants, multi-level office buildings and retail shopping centres. Using a worldwide network of approved dealers, the company is dedicated to growing its export market and is investing in research and development compatible with RFID ‘smart card’ technology. 
    “We are taking the ‘smart building’ approach, using one card to do much more than the initial access control. People will use smart card technology in many aspects of their lives, on public transport, purchasing tickets to events, and so on. We want to introduce RFID technology to our system, so the user only needs one card to do a multitude of things.”


    Saturday 18 – Sunday 26 August 2007
    This is the 10th birthday of this national event focusing on science and its impact on our lives, communities and industry.
    Visit the website at www.scienceweek.info.au to find an event that you can attend and support.

    Two For The Road editorial is sponsored by