Introduction       Documentation     Background

The development of the 500m2 dish design was preceded by many years of activity at ANU with some key  projects along the way.

Publications from the ANU Solar Thermal Group that describe activities to date can be found at:

A summary of the activities in 2005, just before the design of the SG4 dish began was given at the ANZSES conference in Brisbane by Keith Lovegrove: Lovegrove_CSP_ANZSES_Brisbane05

The solar thermal activities at the Australian National University were started by Professor Stephen Kaneff and Dr Peter Carden in 1970/71. They worked within the then Department of Engineering Physics of the Research School of Physical Sciences. From an early stage Kaneff and Carden settled on dish concentrators operating in distributed fields as their strategic choice. Ammonia based thermochemical energy storage was  chosen as an approach to transfer energy from a dish field to a central power block. Networks for transporting the energy as superheated steam were also considered.

Key major projects all lead by Stephen Kaneff were:

White Cliffs  Power station

Fourteen 20m2  dishes were coupled to a small reciprocating steam engine driving an alternator. This project has been documented in the detailed White Cliffs Project report for the NSW Department of Energy: WhiteCliffsProject_ReportToNSWOfficeOfEnergy



The SG3 400m2 dish

built on the ANU campus and completed in 1994. This project has been documented in the SG3 Report to the NSW Office of Energy: SG3_ReportToNSWOfficeOfEnergy


More slides on the 400m2 SG3 dish:

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The Ben Gurion University Dish

ANU (via ANUTECH Pty Ltd) supplied a similar 400m2 dish to the Ben Gurion University in Israel (


Ben Gurion University produced a video on their (PETAL) dish in 2003. Professor David Faiman describes the background and outlines their plans to test it for concentrating photovoltaics. Note that at the time they were quite accurate to describe PETAL as the world’s biggest dish, it is slightly larger than SG3, but lost the title to the SG4 500m2 dish in 2009.