The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia has entered into a collaborative project with clean technology manufacturer Verdicorp to develop next-generation geothermal turbine and power plant technology.

UQ and Verdicorp will together develop technologies that will help reduce the cost of geothermal electricity when compared with gas-fired electricity and have the potential to increase geothermal productivity by 50% for hot rock geothermal resources.

The partners will develop supercritical turbines; heat exchangers and air-cooled condensers for geothermal, solar thermal and waste heat power generation applications; and new cycle fluids and fluid mixtures suitable for supercritical cycles.

A high-pressure supercritical turbine and cycle testing facility will be constructed on the Pinjarra Hills campus of UQ later this year.

The facility will house a portable test plant to test and demonstrate the benefits of the technologies at remote geothermal sites.