Geothermal Energy Conversion

The AEMSLab has been carrying out a range of energy systems research at Canterbury University since 2000. The group focus is on Energy System Transition Engineering.  AEMSLab projects involve modelling and communicating changes in existing systems to adapt to fossil energy reduction in line with IPCC carbon emission reduction targets. The AEMSLab has particular expertise of interest to developers of low temperature and small scale geothermal.

Thermal Systems Engineering

The thermo/fluids/energy staff at New Zealand’s top rated Mechanical Engineering department at UC are engaged in education and research on the challenges of geothermal energy conversion engineering. The team teaches a course on geothermal energy, including resource engineering, turbomachinery, heat exchangers, and thermodynamic cycles. Our staff have worked with MightyRiver Power on a range of modelling, experimental and data analysis projects aimed at efficient and adaptive engineering and operation of geothermal power systems. A distinguished visitor and Erskine Fellow, Dr. Nick Baines of Concepts NREC, taught a course on turbomachinery. A distinguished visitor, Hezy Ram of Ram Energy, is teaching a course on geothermal project development.

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. The land area is much lower per MW of generation, and the capacity is typically in the range of 100 MW or larger.

New Zealand has well known geothermal resources. Current installed capacity of geothermal power is over 15% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation capacity.


62343_Susan-Krumdieck---and-team

Academic Staff: Sid Becker, H-C Jung, Susan Krumdieck, Mark Jermy, Mathieu Sellier

Projects

  • Experimental ORC power plant to study dynamic thermal system engineering
  • Turbine test rig for different expanders and developing design knowledge
  • 10-100 kW radial turbine design for R245fa
  • Dynamic modelling for control system design and simulation
  • Plant and component modelling for thermo-economic feasibility study
  • Development standard for ORC technology
  • Economic and energy return on investment in ORC technology
  • Modelling of fundamental mechanisms of silica scale deposition
  • Experimental investigation of silica scale deposition on steel
The advanced Energy and Material Systems (AEMS) laboratory has worked with Mighty River Power 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 modelling of geothermal power plants 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 UC Research Group visits the Geothermal power plants in Taupo, Mighty River Power



Publications:

Budisulistyo, D., S. Krumdieck, Lifetime design strategy for binary geothermal plants considering degradation of geothermal resource productivity, Energy Conversion and Management, 132C (2017) 1-13. 

Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, Meanline design of a 250 kW radial inflow turbine stage using R245fa working fluid and waste heat from a refinery process, Proc IMechE Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 230:4 (2016) 402-414.

Wong, C-S, and Susan Krumdieck, Scaling of Gas Turbine from Air to Refrigerants for Organic Rankine Cycle Using Similarity Concept, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power 138:6 (2016): 061701

Budisulistyo, D., S. Krumdieck, Thermodynamic and economic analysis for the pre- feasibility study of a binary geothermal power plant, Energy Conversion and Management, 103 (2015) 639-649. 

Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, An experimental and modelling study of a 1 kW organic Rankine cycle unit with mixture working fluid, Energy, 81 (2015)  601-614. 

Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, Feasibility assessment of refinery waste heat-to-power conversion using an organic Rankine cycle, Energy Conversion and Management, 77 (2014) 396-407. 

Jung, H-C, Krumdieck, S., Rotordynamic modelling and analysis of a radial inflow turbine rotor-bearing system, International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, Vol. 15:11. (2014) 2285-2290. 

Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, Modelling of organic Rankine cycle system and heat exchanger components, International Journal of Sustainable Energy, Vol 33:3 (2014) 704-721.

Jung, H-C. and Krumdieck, S. (2013) Analysis of Zeotropic Mixture in a Geothermal Organic Rankine Cycle Power Plant with an Air-Cooled Condenser. Rotorua, New Zealand: 35th (NZGW), 18-21 Nov 2013.

Meyer, D., Wong, C-S., Engle, F. and Krumdieck, S. (2013) Design and Build of a 1 Kilowatt Organic Rankine Cycle Power Generator. Rotorua, New Zealand: NZGW, 18-21 Nov 2013.

Taylor, L. and Krumdieck, S. (2013) Development of a Low Temperature Geothermal Organic Rankine Cycle Standard. Rotorua, New Zealand: 35th NZGW, 18-21 Nov 2013.

Southon, M. and Krumdieck, S. (2013) Energy Return on Investment (EROI) for Distributed Power Generation from Low-Temperature Heat Sources Using the Organic Rankine Cycle. Rotorua, New Zealand: NZGW, 18-21 Nov 2013.

Engle, F., Meyer, D. and Krumdieck, S. (2013) Experimental characterisation of the thermal performance of a finned-tube heat exchanger. Rotorua, New Zealand: 35th (NZGW), 18-21 Nov 2013.

Wong, C-S., Meyer, D. and Krumdieck, S. (2013) Selection and Conversion of Turbocharger as Turbo-Expander for Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). Rotorua, New Zealand: 35th (NZGW), 18-21 Nov 2013.

Sohel, M. I., M. Sellier, L. Brackney, S. Krumdieck, An iterative method for modelling the air-cooled organic Rankine cycle geothermal power plant, International Journal of Energy Research, Vol 35:5 (2011) 436-448. Cited = 6

Sohel, M. Imroz, Mathieu Sellier, Larry J. Brackney, Susan Krumdieck, Efficiency improvement for geothermal power generation to meet summer peak demand, Energy Policy, Vol 37:9 (2009) 3370-3376. Cited = 9

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

 

Research Funding in Energy Engineering                                                            $5,969,710 Total

 

Geothermal Power Generation Technology Development

Ministry for Business, Innovation & Economy (MBIE), HERX1201-UoC

Amount as PI: $2,025,875 (2012) Four Years

 

Products for low heat energy conversion

TechNZ, HERX1001

Amount: $335,369 NZD (2011) Two Years

 

Students in Geothermal Energy

  1. Sunjin Choi, Dynamic modeling and simulation of low temperature ORC and scroll expanders, PhD
  2. Denny Budisulistyo, Thermo-economic feasibility analysis for low temperature ORC systems, PhD (2016)
  3. Choon Seng Wong, Flexible design method of turbines for ORC’s, PhD (2015)
  4. Michael Southon, Energy Return on Investment and Net Energy Analysis of ORC Power Generation, MS Thesis (2015)
  5. Leighton Taylor, Low Temperature Geothermal ORC System Development Standard, MS Thesis (2015).
  6. Sohel Mohammed, Dynamic Model of Geothermal Power Plant, PhD Thesis (2011).
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