Prof Aliakbar Akbarzadeh of RMIT University is leading a team of researchers developing a system that combines fresh water production with electricity generation using entirely renewable sources.

Researchers have seen results from a small-scale concept prototype developed at the thermo-fluids laboratory in RMIT’s school of aerospace, mechanical and manufacturing engineering, which was on display at the launch.

The three-year project, funded through an Australian research council linkage grant, RMIT University and Greenearth Energy, will focus on further development of the prototype, performance improvement and evaluation of the dual geothermal system.

Mark Miller, managing director of Greenearth Energy, said: “the research outcomes, if successful, would be used to develop commercial systems for a range of applications,including units capable of producing 0.1MW of electrical power and 75,000L of water per day. This scale of technology is particularly suitable for small and isolated communities off the main electricity grid.

“This project could pave the way for the effective use of suitable hydrothermal waters, offering export opportunities through the commercial manufacture of small to medium-scale dual geothermal systems.”