Energy and sustainability remain key areas in the growth of any society. To develop towns and cities, it is vital to have industries contributing to progress and skilled workers helping make positive change.
In a need to improve how things work and the ways in which we live, factors such as energy harvesting become important. Holmesglen's work with battery technologies, coupled with the recently opened Moorabbin campus Renewable Energy Centre, sees students learning against this backdrop of innovation.
Holmesglen Senior Training Coordinator, David Tolliday understands the significance of receiving the right skills and knowledge prior to entering the field.
"We set up this new facility to make the training even better. The students will get to experience what they really want. We try and make it as real life as possible," he says.
To aid this training, Holmesglen works with grid-connected PV systems, with over 45kW of PV installed on the roof, and over 10 different brands of battery solutions. Brands include Tindo (Australian made), Seraphim, Winaico, and BenQ. David believes a hands-on component, which uses this equipment and looks at more than just the installation stage, is key.
"We get a lot of feedback from the suppliers saying that the actual installation is not the problem. It's the configuring and communications that they have the problem with. When you turn on a device, that's when you get the fun. The industry wants programming and configuring skills empathised a lot more, and that's the type of stuff we're teaching."
With energy storage companies like Tesla bringing batteries into popular focus and mobile technologies bringing new possibilities, the industry is at the frontline of development. These advancements have local potential, too. Theconversation.com recently wrote that self-sustaining batteries have benefits that include "long-term tracking of wildlife like flying foxes, multi-year biodiversity assessments in Australian rainforests and the Amazon, and studying the health of the Great Barrier Reef."
Where lead acid is a tried and true form and lithium iron a stepping stone to new batteries, David sees options like zinc bromide and saltwater batteries as providing future opportunities. "There will be a game changer somewhere," he says.
Holmesglen actively works with industry groups and clean energy councils to support students and the overall field. These partnerships help graduates to apply for their Clean Energy Council Battery Storage Endorsement. For David, helping students at the starting line is where he gains his motivation.
"I believe in the technologies. It's nice to be teaching in a field you're passionate about."