Amid his busy life as a lecturer and researcher in Indonesia, Australia Awards Scholarship recipient and Curtin University graduate Dr Ahmad Agus Setiawan is remarkably enthusiastic about one of his job’s requirements – community service. This is in large part because it’s his own award-winning technology that he’s busy implementing in remote communities across his home country, Indonesia.
For his doctoral studies at Curtin University, Setiawan designed and developed a mini-grid hybrid power and water supply system; a novel system using renewable energy sources through the application of a voltage and current-controlled inverter. He completed the work through the Renewable Energy and Power Systems Research Group, under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Chem Nayar, in Curtin’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The prototype – consisting of renewable energy generators, a diesel generator and a reverse osmosis desalination plant – was tested in laboratory simulations at Curtin and at industrial partner Regen Power. It involved two case studies: the Maldives and Indonesia.
Now, as part of his academic role, Setiawan is working with local communities in Indonesia to implement the technology. Working with engineering students from Indonesia’s Universitas Gadjah Mada, Setiawan’s project engages communities in in-situ design of the plant; uses local labour in project construction; and will, ultimately, employ local residents in maintenance of the technology.
“This project really brings home the importance of building partnerships and empowering local communities,” Setiawan says. “Wherever the project is located, I want communities to have a strong sense of ownership of the initiative.”
The research received a Mondialogo Engineering Award from UNESCO and Daimler, among other awards.
Curtin University will be participating in the Postgraduate Degrees in Minerals and Energy Event in Jakarta and Bandung on 5-6 October. For more information, or to register, please follow the link.