Research Aim 1-1 – Expert Design Tool

A major objective of the Above Ground Geothermal and Allied Technologies (AGGAT) Research Programme is to make the assessment of heat resources potential for energy generation (geothermal / waste heat) easier for heavy engineering member companies involved in the clean energy space. This objective is being addressed through the development of an ‘Expert Design Tool’ (EDT) as part of Research Aim 1-1 under the AGGAT Programme.

This Design Tool will enable engineers to assess the exergetic value of a heat resource using its process conditions such as temperature and flow rate and determine the electrical power derivable from it via the Organic Rankine Cycle process configuration as set up in the EDT.

Howard Zheng is working on this objective as a Masters project in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland. Howard completed his Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University, one of the highest ranking Universities in China.

The scope of this project is to set up a graphical user interface using an appropriate programming and web-based platform to set up pre-defined process algorithms based on thermodynamic principles as well as databases to collect literature, data and experimental results obtained from other areas of the research programme.

The project is divided into two parts 1) Process Simulation and 2) Web Development. Under process simulation, the ORC concept will be simulated in a programming language using thermodynamic principles and relationships obtained from other AGGAT research engineers working in specific areas of research engineering.

Under web development, the skeleton or framework for installation of these thermodynamic algorithms will be created for integration in the next stage. The project is currently on track for delivery by the end of this year.