You are here: Home > About Us > Research Roadmap >

Research Roadmap

Low enthalpy is fast being recognised as an abundant source of energy that can be effectively exploited for direct and indirect use i.e. power generation through the industry-wide accepted Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and other technologies. New Zealand has been using geothermal energy since 1958 so has the expertise to play a key role in advancing the global cause for clean energy through research in low enthalpy conversion technology. The research programme developed through this roadmap is collectively labelled Above Ground Geothermal and Allied Technologies (AGGAT) as it has wider industrial application on low enthalpy resources and investigates thermodynamic power conversion cycles beyond ORC technologies. The AGGAT Research Roadmap provides a guide to inform research activities and priorities and was developed collaboratively between industry and researchers.

AGGAT research roadmap

The AGGAT research programme is formed around the renewable energy source, scale of operation, technology integration and conversion technology. This research diamond holds distinct research themes developed to advance AGGAT research namely, Technology Concepts, Control Systems, Binary Fluids, Heat Transfer & Design and finally Turbine Design & Performance. Research questions have been drafted under each research theme along with expected outputs, timescale, research partners, stakeholders and their capabilities to answer the research questions.

The research roadmap identifies significant milestones under each research theme that should be achieved with the most notable being the development and deployment of market ready ORC plants at demonstration host sites. An appreciable consortium of partners are involved in the AGGAT programme including research partners, co-funding industry partners and host site providers. The parties are actively engaged in currently active projects both with and without supporting government funding. However more R&D resources are being procured through funding applications, new industry members and international collaborative relationships in the research programme. The roadmap is revisited regularly to update according to the changing research environment and progress in status quo of the research programme.

The AGGAT programme is an industry initiative of the Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA)representing the Heavy Engineering industry in NZ and is developed in co-operation with research providers and end-users. The Research Roadmap is available from the HERA Information Centre.