Doing cool stuff with great people for the good of the world.

Upflow's extensive network of clients, partners, and collaborators encompasses geothermal companies, Māori Trusts, research organizations, private investors and government entities both locally in Aotearoa and internationally.

We join forces with these stakeholders to collectively pursue the low-carbon aspirations of diverse industry sectors.

By harnessing renewable geothermal resources as a vital enabler, we strive to drive the transition towards sustainable practices.

With a focus on advancing knowledge, providing expert guidance, and fostering innovation, we are committed to realizing a greener and more sustainable future.

photo credit: ALLY MACFARLANE

Our projects are structured across three interwoven workstreams: Research, Consultancy, and Innovation. Through these efforts, we tackle challenges, develop insightful solutions, and foster groundbreaking ideas.

We design world-changing commercial solutions from scientific research.

Research is the first step in collecting the data your business needs to make good decisions. We lead and partner in applied research programmes to answer industry questions, solve problems, and explore possibilities.

Project Examples

GOOML: Geothermal Operational Optimization with Machine Learning

GOOML is a geothermal operations optimisation framework based on machine learning and components modelling, under constraints informed by physics. In partnership with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Contact Energy (NZ), Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets (NZ) and Ormat (US), the framework was developed using real-world operations, with data from fields of various types(e.g., brine and dry steam) and configurations (e.g., single plant, binary, direct heat) to develop digital twins. GOOML aims to increase the output of electricity generation of order 1-10%.

GOOML was funded by the US Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office. Upflow was the first ever non-US company to be awarded funding from this office.

We are commercialising this software workbench from a research codebase to a digital package for geothermal operators. Read more...

Geothermal field optimization is actually not that complicated.                                 
— Nobody, Ever

Geothermal: The Next Generation – Indigenous Engagement

In the ‘Geothermal: The Next Generation’ research programme, Upflow is leading a Māori-first approach to engagement, recognising that Māori will be highly influential in the realisation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s supercritical geothermal projects. We are connecting Te Ao Māori ki te Ao rangahau (the world of Māori to the world of research), to facilitate more culturally responsive and effective approaches for undertaking geothermal research and resource development. 

We hope to offer inspiration and encouragement for building relationships and inter-weaving western science and mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge). We are guided by a braided river model: where we meet, we connect and build trust, so when we go into places we don’t understand, we already have trust and connection. 

We translate industry knowledge into actionable advice, for all stages of geothermal exploration, development and operation.

Geothermal energy is not a ‘build it and forget about it’ asset infrastructure – rather, geothermal production facilities require constant tuning. We leverage surface and sub-surface experience to interpret your geothermal data, reduce risk, and optimise the operations.

Project Examples

Geosystem Design - Optimising Resource Use

Geothermal environments provide a significant opportunity to support economic prosperity and catalyse competitive advantages for business and communities. Upflow looks at the full array of offerings to understand how geothermal advantages relate to specific markets and industries.

This approach focuses on the unique benefits that arise from a particular geothermal resource (e.g. heat, minerals, microbes) can be matched with the local market needs. We apply a commercial lens, and use the geosystem template as a planning and decision-making tool to inform when and how to best invest capital.

We develop tools and solutions for real world problems, in an innovation pipeline.

Our research and consultancy work, combined with targeted market exploration, industry problem analysis, and technology solutions, form the foundation of our innovation process.

Collaborating with our partners, we validate concepts, develop robust business cases, and embark on experimental development up to the pilot scale. Once successful prototypes are achieved, we work with our commercial partners to scale them up and bring them to market.

Through this iterative and collaborative approach, we foster new ideas, validate their feasibility, and ensure their successful commercialization to address market needs and solve industry challenges.

Project Examples

Extremophiles Feedstocks

We are creating a new locally-produced biomass that could be used as an animal feed ingredient (biofeedstock), for human nutrition, and, perhaps, to produce high value nutraceuticals or pigments. Our initial focus is on the protein component of the biomass (ca. 60%), which will drive identification of target markets, where there is high demand for alternate protein sources.

Over two-thirds of the planet’s arable land is devoted to growing food for livestock. Demand for high-quality protein for human consumption is projected to rise dramatically with increasing population and standards of living. By 2050 we are going to have to feed another 2 billion people! Therefore, there’s significant demand for protein from sustainable non-traditional sources.

We have sourced two microorganisms: a methanotroph and a phototroph from local Māori-owned geothermal ecosystems. These microorganisms work symbiotically, utilising waste gas emissions from geothermal power stations, to produce the novel biomass. Lab-scale testing on mice has shown the product is non-toxic, digestible, and provided a nutritional benefit.

Geothermal extremophiles are microorganisms that thrive in extreme environments associated with geothermal activity, such as hot springs, geysers, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. These organisms have evolved unique adaptations to withstand high temperatures, extreme pH levels, high pressure, and other harsh conditions. The use of geothermal extremophiles in industrial applications has gained interest due to their remarkable biochemical properties and their ability to perform under extreme conditions.

This breakthrough innovation addresses the challenge of waste gas emissions while offering an alternative to replace, and avoid reliance on, expensive and environmentally unfriendly feedstocks.

Having successfully demonstrated the viability of the scientific process at lab-scale, our team are progressing to the pilot-scale phase of this project. Read more...

The WINGman Special Task Force - Diversity & Inclusion Training

Andy, as a co-founder of the Women in Geothermal (WING)
( movement, has played a pivotal role in shaping the organization's strategy, development, and culture since its establishment in 2013.  WING has experienced remarkable growth, expanding its reach to 68 countries and attracting over 3000 members worldwide.

Notably, WING has fostered inclusivity by welcoming 30% male members, recognizing the importance of engaging men in advocating for gender equality in the geothermal sector.

WING has become a global force in promoting diversity and empowering individuals across the geothermal industry.

Upflow has developed and implemented the WINGman Special Taskforce (WSTF), a pioneering initiative aimed at dismantling gender stereotypes and fostering male role models who champion and advocate for gender equality.

Supported by the World Bank, this Taskforce is actively deployed in geothermal countries worldwide, promoting a culture of inclusivity and equality. By engaging men as allies and change agents, WSTF plays a vital role in advancing gender equality and creating a more balanced and inclusive society.

Through this global deployment, Upflow strives to empower individuals and communities to challenge norms, embrace diversity, and drive positive change on a global scale.