Renewable Energy Systems

The goal of the Research Program on Renewable Energy Systems is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, hence minimise greenhouse gas emissions, by increasing the share of renewables in our energy mix.

The Program, led by Professor Behdad Moghtaderi, in particular focuses on the development of novel systems / processes for more efficient and viable utilisation of renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind and geothermal.

The research underpinning the Program covers fundamental and applied aspects of renewable energy systems, these include, but are not limited to; biomass combustion, gasification and pyrolysis, design of novel wind turbines as well as, geothermal power cycles and hot dry rock technology for geothermal power generation.


The main laboratory of this program - the Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Laboratory has been dedicated to two large programs of study aimed at the development of more efficient technologies for utilisation of biomass and geothermal resources, respectively. Several projects are currently under way as part of these two programs of study.

These are:

  • Development of a Novel Geothermal Power Cycle
  • Development of a Novel Regenerator for Adapting Supercritical Cycles to Geothermal
  • Power Applications
  • Development of a Novel Desalination Process for Geothermal Resources
  • Combustion Characteristics of Biomass Chars in Pressurised Circulating Fluidised Bed Reactors
  • Gasification Characteristics of Australian Biomass Fuels in Fluidised Bed Reactors
  • Burnout and Ash issues related to Co-Firing of Coal and Biomass in PF Boilers
  • Methodologies to interpret Trials of Coal / Biomass Co-Firing

The Laboratory utilises a variety of equipment, including:

  • bench-scale set ups for assessing the performance of various geothermal power cycles
  • a bench-scale HDH based desalination unit
  • a bench-scale biomass gasifier
  • a pressurised biomass gasifier and
  • various pulverisers and fuel crushers.

Renewable Energy Systems Program Leader

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.