Geothermal in New Zealand
Geothermal energy has been used since ancient times for heating purposes. However, its use for the generation of electricity began only in the 20th century. The advantage over most other renewable sources is that, at 90%, the service factor of a geothermal power plant is much higher.
New Zealand has very good potential of geothermal resources. Current installed capacity of geothermal power is over 15% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation capacity.
Academic Staff: Sid Becker, H-C Jung, Susan Krumdieck, Mark Jermy, Mathieu Sellier
The advanced Energy and Material Systems (AEMS) laboratory is working in cooperation with Mighty River Power company to develop dynamic models for geothermal power plants. Although steady state models are quite common in the literature, dynamic models for geothermal power plants are not widely available. One of the major problems of modeling of geothermal power plant is that these plants are very site specific. The model developed for one site may not be readily applicable for other sites. We are working towards a better understanding of dynamics of geothermal power plants. Possibilities to develop more generic models are also considered.
The crew visits the Geothermal power plants in Taupo, Mighty River Power
Measuring performance of Heat Exchangers - Frithjof Engle