The research sub-section coordinates research and collaborations in the division. KenGen cooperates with national and international institutions in carrying out important research on various aspects of geothermal development. Some of the areas of cooperation have included:-
- Geothermal exploration
Refining geothermal exploration via geochemical modelling of young volcanic centres in the Kenya Rift. The research was done in collaboration between KenGen and the University of Texas at El Paso, USA and funded by NSF for the period 2001-2003.
Geothermal Reservoir Management
Use of stable isotopes in geothermal reservoir management in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Funded by IAEA.
Joint Geophysical Imaging (JGI)
Research into the use of combined MT, TEM and seismology in refining the exploration for geothermal reservoirs. Project was funded by UNEP/GEF and implemented in collaboration with Duke University, USA 2002-2005.
- Hydrogeology of the Lake Naivasha area
A cooperative venture between KenGen, the Lake Naivasha Riparian Association and ITC, Netherlands in research on the hydrology of the Lake Naivasha basin.
KenGen is a member of the African Rift Geothermal Project (ARGEO), which is funded by UNEP/ GEF with the aim of promoting the development of geothermal resources in Africa.
- Other areas of Collaboration
KenGen has continued to collaborate with local universities, the United Nations University as well as other government departments in research and training in such areas as environment, geology and hydrogeology and sustainability of use of Lake Naivasha. Some of the Institutions with which KenGen has collaborated with include Moi University School of Environmental Studies, Egerton University, University of Nairobi Institute of Nuclear Science, Ministry of Energy Department of Geothermal, Kenyatta University, Dedan Kimathi University, Kabarak University, University of Potsdam and recently with Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA).
Areas of research and collaboration currently being pursued include:-
- Assessment of suitability of Bentonite deposits in Meru and Isiolo as geothermal wells drilling mud.
- Use of brine for geothermal well cementing.
- Conversion of power station blowdown into potable water.
- Use of geothermal brine for rehabilitation.
- Use of geothermal brine for fish farming.
- Use of brine for horticulture.
- Use of geothermal steam for cooling.
- Modification of silencers.
- Design of Improved Well Testing Facility and Commercial Heat Exchanger - Grant of about 9 million from National Council of Science and Technology.
- Increasing Efficiency in the Utilization of Brine to run a Binary Power Plant.
- Pre-cast Pre-stressed Concrete Pavement (PPCP).
- Use of Modern Survey Techniques in Optimization of Geothermal Power Harvest.
- Real Time Relaying of Geothermal Information and Data Directly from the Field to Computer Server using GSM and GPRS Technologies of Mobile Mapping and GIS.
- Improvement of Cooling Towers in Olkaria I.
- Investigating the Possibility of Harnessing Gravitational Energy using an Actuating Lever Arm Mechanism.
- Designing & Fabrication of Aluminum Sheet Rolling and Aluminum Ridge Making Machines.
- Sustainability of Lake Naivasha.
- Well testing facility, commercial heat exchanger, and gas abatement.
- Remote management of water levels in tanks at Olkaria.
- Assessment of cooling circuit water to control acid erosion, elemental sulphur deposition and microbiological fouling: case study of Olkaria II
- Precipitation chemistry and air quality monitoring associated with geothermal operations