Author Archives: admin

Bound for South Australia – the Sun seems to Shine brighter?

Garry Baverstock AM, former President of the WA branch of the ISES and ANZSES, founder of

The State of Western Australia has many attractions and in many ways provides a great lifestyle, though a little dull at times due mainly to a lack of population, business action and strategic placement of higher density living. 


It is changing for the better slowly in most cases, but in the non-mining sector many industries have gone to the wall, closed down or moved overseas. My father was a lead confectioner with Plaistowe and Co, a WA company which was renowned for their sugared almonds, chocolates and licorice products, many supplied to the East Coast as well as overseas. It didn’t survive the wage hikes of the 1970s and closed down in 1983 or so. Many other healthy WA industries in all fields seemed to have died on the vine since, due to wage costs, globalization, or a lack of WA government support for innovation.

WA Solar History

In the 1940s -1960s solar industry entrepreneurs such as Ron Brown of Sola-Ray, and Clarry Small of ‘Smalls Solaheeta’ were leaders establishing the industry concurrently with and eventual domination by Solahart, Edwards hot water systems. I was involved with copper systems for 2010 to 2012 an evolution of the Smalls systems. I started by investigating Sola-Kleen in detail and eventually involved as a joint owner before closing it down due to a lack of viability. It was an attempt to save the industry and keep solar water heaters being made in WA. Since then most WA based manufacturing for solar water heating has disappeared.

Federal Government Rebate Scheme

Thanks to the brilliant and very effective Commonwealth Tax rebate scheme we were able to reinvent the product for application to the PV industry. This was seen as the only way to keep the industry alive.  It meant greatly improving the performance and reducing manufacturing costs. While at this process we as a team invented a new solar air conditioning system that also runs on PV.

Due to a lack of interest in WA which I put down to an overly and unhealthy emphasis on mining innovation, I have had not been able to easily attract capital, nor any innovation grants for IP registration etc. Also there has been no obvious interest for manufacturing interest here. 


My colleague Em Prof Wasim Saman, head of R&D at the School of Engineering at UniSA saw merit in the inventions in built form and backed by physics, engineering calculations and data collected. In 2017 we contracted the university to do independent testing. Since then further improvements have followed. Since 2014 three peer reviewed papers were produced that analyzed the state of solar water heater industry in Australia. This information assisted with not only infirming the whole industry but help our R&D program with useful feedback on the state of the industry and consumer sentiment towards it.

Colleagues in SA including Prof Wasim Saman of UniSA centre, former world Solar energy Society President Monica Oliphant, plus Rick Carter of the Space centre and high ranking EPA officer Roscoe Shelton in May 2019 discussing Climate Change and solar energy

Patent Process

With Patent Cooperation Treaty approval for novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability we have proceeded with registering our patents globally.

In January we will be meeting the UniSA again to progress with the commercialization phase for both products as well as meeting potential JV manufacturing partners in Adelaide and in Melbourne.

The use of thermal inertia storage is the key to both technologies and will avoid the current high costs of battery storage added to PV which will eventually come down to 15c/kWh once the long life Li – ion batteries come on stream and will be equal to of peak grid supply costs. Thermal inertia storage will be below 2 c/kWh so it will always be a precursor for determining when to use battery storage, even at the lowest life cycle cost as presented in my WREN Conference paper in 2016.

Turning Point for the Solar Industry

2020 looks like being a turning point or solar becoming more mainstream and more importantly much smarter.  There are issues such us quality which need to be addressed. But solar energy and wind has an unhindered path to be supplying 25 – 50% of global electrical energy.

We predict that the next generation of householders will finally adopt passive solar design principles for their houses and retrofitting existing plus use smart technologies such as ‘SolaTank’ hot water systems and ‘MassLinc’ air conditioning. This will save about 25% emissions in the total building sector by the end of the century, preferably sooner.  With adoption of solar powered cars and heavy transport it looks like another 15% could be added to possible emissions savings.

Climate Change Consequences

Prof. Ross Garnaut (in Australia) predicted 90% savings were needed by the end of this century, but the impacts of Climate Change is hitting harder and earlier than thought. Therefore we need to move much faster now. Achieving 40% savings for the total built environment is highly possible and easy actually (say by 2050). Of course so many other measures for farming, population growth, regenerating natural environments including the oceans should make the end of century target possible but much earlier.

Don’t blame the solar industries. We are the heavy hitters providing a clean energy future for the next generations. With entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk taking over it is time for old fogies, including, laggards, luddites, and Climate Action deniers to get out of the way and let smart industries take control and save life (including humanity) as we know it on planet earth. The Solar Council has a big job from hereon.

JV Vision

In 2020 a JV for manufacturing between WA and South Australia or Victoria is our goal. As they say 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing. I am happy to be able to contribute 25% of the global solution using our technologies.

ECOTECT ARCHITECTS – Energy conservation specialists

With Sustainable Living and Environmental factors becoming more prominent when looking forward to the future, we invite you to come chat with us about your housing project.
Whether starting from scratch or re-designing what’s current, we can guide you down the correct path to better practice and ecological living, keeping in mind budget and demographic differences.

To learn more, check out our new video:

Making History!

In 2004 Garry Baverstock AM, wrote the history of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society (ANZSES) for the progress of solar energy applications over a 50 year period (1954 – 2004).

It was written for a published volume for the International Solar energy Society (ISES) over a two year period. The introduction for the ANZSES  and its global history was written by the famous Professor David Mills, one of the world’s experts on solar thermal power plants. Gary wrote the chapters for Australia.

For many years, the history was a prominent focus of the Australia Solar Council website but with a shift in the focus from R&D to marketing, the new Smart Energy Council has revived it –

It is a truism that if a society that does not value its history, will mean large mistakes can be made. The unique feature of the people involved in the history of solar energy in Australia and New Zealand was considered and careful. With having just a commercial focus, the danger is that energy generation could go up blind alleys and not see the lessons of history. The time scales involved are beyond anyone’s lifestyle.


For more information:

Cost and Outcome Advantages from the use of MassWall

MassWall is a construction system using specially designed concrete blocks in the style of a ‘Lego’ set to build structural walls. The concept purchased from Germany by Boral is planned to be used Australia wide.

Solar E

Working with this concept, Solar E has produced an experimental MassWall as a dividing wall in Solar E’s factory in Bayswater to integrate research in solar air-conditioning. The thermal MassWall is slotted together by the concrete blocks and then concrete is poured/pumped into it and reinforcing rods are pushed through it to create a very stable, solid concrete wall. The wall starts with mortar free concrete blocks that slot together allowing a wall to be built very fast with minimal labour.

The trials are very encouraging and the concept is being considered for building housing projects such as the Swanbourne Village Trust. When Solar E examined the concept, it seemed to fit in very nicely with its own solar air-conditioning concepts where you can integrate the wall into the air conditioning and the air conditioning into the wall. While the wall is being built, it allows the flexibility of locating the spots where the air-conditioning can be located.

Meeting to discuss the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s factory in Bayswater. At the presentation was Sam Paolino and Garry Baverstock with Alf D’Angelo from Boral. A dividing wall was built to test the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s Bayswater factory. Discussing the wall construction were Alf D’Angello with Garry Baverstock seen through the window.

Meeting to discuss the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s factory in Bayswater. At the presentation was Sam Paolino and Garry Baverstock with Alf D’Angelo from Boral. A dividing wall was built to test the concept of MassWall at Solar E’s Bayswater factory. Discussing the wall construction were Alf D’Angello with Garry Baverstock seen through the window.

Together with another innovation that Boral are developing of thin brick, it will create a cavity wall and partition that form the dividing walls of a room. The two together will form a ‘MassWall’. This configuration will become Solar E’s intellectual property and used in passive solar energy efficient buildings. It will provide a flexible wall system inside a building where a hole can easily be put into it and make structural changes down the track without the structure being compromised or falling down. MassWall provides construction flexibility of the thermal mass for the heating/cooling boosting system.

Most work is still done by passive solar but instead of having a temperature of around 18 degrees in Winter; it can go to 24 degrees and an average of 28 degrees in Summer can go to a comfortable 24 degrees; all operated on photo voltaic PV cells.

MassWall is a registered name by Solar E and fits in well with its own MassLink for its air conditioning products.

Photo Credits: Nick Melidonis,