Our R&D projects
Latest news

The potential for runaway greenhouse warming is real – and has never been more present.

As we rally to address this growing crisis, it has become clear that climate change technology and innovation needs to be a focus. With this in mind, we launched our AGGAT (Above Ground Geothermal and Allied Technology) program.  Which looks closely at ORC technology aimed at taking abundant and widespread hydrothermal and wasteheat resources and converting them into affordable and usable clean energy.


October 2012 – October 2022


Mounting international pressure has forced many countries to relook their commitment to climate change.  With the Paris Agreement in December 2015 adopting the first ever universal, legally binding global climate deal between 195 countries.

And, as renewable energy investments continue to gain momentum in growth worldwide – so too do the business opportunities for our members.  On the ground, we’ve recognised this market potential creating this R&D program so our members are well positioned to take advantage of it.

Our role

Following extensive market research, our role was first to qualify this R&D project as a real and achievable opportunity for our members.  Creating a strong program schedule to effectively harness low enthalpy energy for power generation and waste heat conversion as a result.

Since then, we’ve worked closely with our program members and partners to manage the complex and changing international and local legislative frameworks.  Challenging the development of this clean energy project along the way.

Establishing a hub of highly specialised expertise in-house, we’re now well placed to test and advise during the ORC development phase.  Bringing innovation and a refined technology offering to create competitive models that pave the way into global markets.

We also work to develop stake holder trust, gain approvals, secure funding and help manage risk throughout the project lifecycle – connecting with prospective end users and test sites.

Research themes

Our project partners include:

  • GNS
  • H.J Asmuss & Co
  • Initiative Engineering
  • Jensen Steel Fabricators
  • Ohaaki Thermal Kilns

Business opportunities for you

Let us solve your turbine related issues

We currently have international partnerships with technology driven interests. They’re looking to progress new and innovative turbine designs from small scale to industrial application potential to support our ORC works.

If you have turbine related issues that could benefit from our resources and investigation – please let us know. We can offer testing environments, assistance in the development of turbine and expander dimensional design features and help in solving operational issues.

Contact Dr Lei Chen

Reduce your loads at your power generation site

Our program partners have designed and are now getting ready to install pilot scale power generation plants in New Zealand.  Testing their capability to convert low enthalpy energy resources into electricity to answer a growing demand for more power generation with less impact on the environment.

These sites will be used for referencing, demonstration and to inform improvements.  And, for you as the participant – technology will be installed at no cost to the site provider.  Not only will this bring the added benefit of reducing parasitic loads, it also returns revenue back via your power grid.

If you have a heat resource that might be suitable for similar testing services, let us know.

Contact Dr Boaz Habib 

Transform your waste heat into money

We’ve started to collect waste heat information from process industries across New Zealand to develop a waste heat map.  The first of its kind, it’ll be used to better understand the potential waste heat sources at various locations for us to convert into electricity or more efficient heating systems using our ORC technology.

If you’d like to understand if you can utilise your heat source, we can arrange a site visit or assess data you send to us to achieve this.  By reviewing your heat duties and temperatures, we’re able to see where we can cut your power costs or make your systems run more effectively.

Contact Dr Boaz Habib 

Prolong the life of your geothermal plant

We’ve developed a highly mobile and self-contained materials test rig.  It’s capable of replicating site specific operational conditions so we can establish the effectiveness of different base materials, coatings and surface treatment methods.  Reducing or eliminating corrosion and scaling issues.

If you’d like to understand how you can better optimise your asset to result in a longer plant life, less maintenance and ultimately reduced cost for power generation, then we’d like to hear from you.

Contact Dr Boaz Habib 

Get answers to your complex work challenges

Through our charitable trust HERA Foundation we have access to summer student scholarships with the Auckland University of Technology.  This allows us to create research and development programs specifically designed at answering the questions you haven’t been able to.

If you have a challenge that you need to overcome, why not consider leveraging this avenue? Not only does it help you, but also the youth of our industry who are coming up through the ranks.

Contact Dr Boaz Habib

Boaz Habib

General Manager Industry Development

Michail Karpenko

General Manager Welding Centre

Holger Heinzel

Research Engineer, Welding Centre

Brent Young

AGGAT Researcher | Professor & Head of Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland

Mohammed Farid

AGGAT Researcher | Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland

Sadiq Zarrouk

AGGAT Researcher | Senior Lecturer of Geothermal Engineering, University of Auckland

Wei Yu

AGGAT Researcher | Senior Lecturer of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland

Lei Chen

Former Research Engineer, Industry Development

Haiam Abbas

Former Research Engineer, Industry Development