GEOTHERM 620 : Geothermal Engineering


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Completion tests, wellbore flow, two-phase flow, geothermal power cycles, flow measurements, direct use of geothermal energy, environmental effects, scaling and corrosion in geothermal wells, drilling engineering, flow measurements, steam-field operation and maintenance, subsidence, waste heat rejection, heat exchangers, geothermal well-test analysis, stimulation, pipeline design, feasibility study, reservoir modelling theory, TOUGH2, reservoir modelling process, case study (data and conceptual model, natural state modelling), Wairakei model.

Course Overview

The course provide an advanced level of understanding Geothermal Engineering, it is designed to build on the fundamental and field knowledge gained from doing courses GEOTHERM 601 and  GEOTHERM 602.

The course provide in depth understanding of: 
1- Geothermal well test analysis during drilling and after well completion, with all the methods used for well discharge stimulation and assessment of power output.
2- Geothermal flow measurements for both single and two-phase geothermal fluid.
3- Two-phase flow in geothermal wells and above ground facility.
4- Geothermal power plant design and optimisation.
5- Geothermal reservoir modeling and the numerical tools used to develop and calibrate natural state and production models.
6- Develop an understanding to the geotechnical aspects of geothermal development.
7- Scaling and corrosion in geothermal facility and the challenges of the working geothermal fluid and methods of managing the different types of scale.
8- Direct use of geothermal energy and how to match the load with the geothermal well output. 

GEOTHERM 620 is a block structured course that combines class and field based education. It runs over six weeks from week 7 to week 13 of Semester two in parallel with course GEOTHERM 603.   
The course is internally assessed with:   
40% of the mark is given to assignments and field trip report    
20% short 90 minute test    
40% final 180 minute test 

Course Requirements

Corequisite: GEOTHERM 601, 602 Restriction: GEOTHERM 785

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Geothermal power plants Advanced geothermal power plant engineering (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Geothermal steam field Engineering: Geothermal flow measurements methods, steam gathering system, separators, scribing lines and demisters (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Two phase flow Two phase flow in geothermal wells and geothermal pipelines. Simulation methods and pressure drop calculations (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  4. Direct use of geothermal energy Direct use applications including glass house, space heating systems, fish farming and timber drying (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Well stimulation Discharge stimulation of geothermal wells and permeability enhancement methods (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  6. Reservoir modeling Understand the principles or numerical reservoir modeling and carry a geothermal filed modeling case study (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  7. Geotechnical engineering Geotechnical considerations in geothermal applications and the impact of the weather and surface topography during geothermal development and site management (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  8. Scaling and corrosion Understand the different types of mineral scaling that takes place in geothermal application and the engineering solutions to bother scaling and corrosion (Capability 1, 2 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Assignments 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Tests 60% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
There are two tests, one worth 20% and another worth 40%.  Both tests address all learning outcomes.

Workload Expectations

This course is a block structured [15] point course and students are expected to spend on average 20 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.  

For this course, you can expect [50] hours of lectures, a [36] hour tutorial, [60] hours of reading and thinking about the content and [60] hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Learning Resources

All learning resources  are provided to the students with additional reading material and data given on Canvas.

Other Information

Given the block structured and intense nature of the course (over 6 weeks) it may not be possible to do the course along with any other course. 

The course should be done after completing GEOTHERM 601 and GEOTHERM 602    

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

This course is highly appreciated by all students with a SET score of no less than 4.5/5 

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 17/08/2020 10:50 a.m.