Geothermal in New Zealand 

62343_Geothermal Group on a Log save

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.

62343_Nga Tamariki Group Small

The crew visits the Geothermal power plants in Taupo, Mighty River Power


Measuring performance of Heat Exchangers - Frithjof Engle

Analysis of Zeotropic Mixture in a Geothermal Organic Rankine Cycle Power Plant with an Air-Cooled Condenser - H-C jung

Design and Build of a 1 Kilowatt Organic Rankine Cycle Power Generator - David Meyer

Energy Return on Investment (EROI) for Distributed Power Generation from Low-Temperature Heat Sources Using the Organic Rankine Cycle - Michael Southon

Development of a Low Temperature Geothermal Organic Rankine Cycle Standard - Leighton Taylor

Selection and Conversion of Turbocharger as Turbo-Expander for Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) - Choon-Seng Wong

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