Dr Charles-Alexis Asselineau

PhD, MEng., MSc., BEng.
Research Fellow
College of Engineering & Computer Science

Areas of expertise

  • Energy Generation, Conversion And Storage Engineering 091305
  • Computational Heat Transfer 091502
  • Optimisation 010303
  • Stochastic Analysis And Modelling 010406

Research interests

Scientific interest

  • Thermodynamics and radiation exergy
  • Coupled heat-transfer problems
  • Monte-Carlo ray tracing
  • Concentrating optics
  • Stochastic, multi-objective and evolurtionary optimisation
  • High-temperature photonics


  • Concentrated solar technologies.
  • Concentrating optics modeling and optimisation.
  • Geometrical shape optimisationof receivers and other radiant systems using stochastic and multi-objective optimisation methods.
  • Applied exergetic analysis.



2017: PhD: "Geometrical optimisation of receivers for concentrated solar thermal systems." at the Australian National University (Canberra, Australia).

2010: "ALEF" French-Chinese double degree program, majors in international energy project management and economics.
           Post-Master degree at Mines ParisTech (Paris, France). M.Sc. in Thermal Engineering at Tsinghua University (Beijing, China).

2009: M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at Ecole des Mines d’Albi-Carmaux (Albi, France).
Specialisation in Energy systems.

2006: B.Eng. in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at IUT Cachan (Paris, France).

Professional history:

2011: Predoctoral Researcher at IMDEA Energy (Madrid, Spain). Simulation and material characterisation of a macro-encapsulated hight temperature latent heat thermal storage system.

2010: R&D Engineer at Areva Renewable (Paris, France). R&D projects management, technological and scientifical surveys, business modeling in Bio-energy and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) fields.

2009: Research engineer at CEA-Grenoble (Greneoble, France). Analytical and computational modeling of thermal transfers in a bubbling column to prepare a dimensioning tool for biomass-to-liquid Fischer-Tropsch process.

Researcher's projects

USASEC Project: Radiative heat-transfer simulations, SG3 dish optics and receiver simulation, receiver shape optimisation.

ASTRI: P12 Receiver sub-project: Geometrical optimisation of Flux Optimised Sodium Receiver (FONaR) concepts. P42 Solar Fuels sub-project: design and modeling of Solar Supercritical Water Gasification (SSWG) reactors for algae feedstock.

SMILE: Heliostat field optics modelling and receiver design modification for a cogeneration system based in Caicara, Brasil for the company Solinova.

ANU - Vast Solar: Heliostat characteristaion and heliostat field optics modeling for the company Vast Solar.

Current student projects

Self-assembled nano-structured high-temperature absorption layer on nickel superalloys for concentrated solar thermal applications

 I - Objectives

The next generation of Concentrated Solar Thermal plant will need to operate at high-temperatures to deliver a heat-carrier (eg.: liquid sodium or molten salts) temperatures superior to 700°C at the outlet of the receiver. This receiver outlet temperature can only be reached if the temperature of the outer wall of the receiver operates at much higher temperatures, typically ~ 850°C due heat transfer limitations. The efficiency of the receivers in converting concentrated radiation to high temperature heat strongly depends on the optical properties of the receiver tube walls.

The surfaces exposed to concentrated radiation in existing systems are typically coated with a selective absorption layer that absorbs solar radiation better than the original surface. The durability of these coatings and their suitability for higher temperatures is currently being investigated and might be an issue for the next generation of CSP systems.As part of a distinct activity in the STG group, interesting observations have been made on the optical properties of naturally forming oxide nanostructures on Haynes230 nickel superalloy at high temperatures.

This project has two principal objectives:

  1. Study the formation of high-temperature allow oxides and characterise their composition and morphology. This work will involve using programmable furnaces at high temperature, sample preparation using cutting, polishing and potentially solvants, organizing for the characterization of the grown samples with suitable material characterisation techniques (eg.: electron microscopy,  X-ray diffraction).
  2. Evaluate the optical performance of the oxide layers. This activity will involve the use of optical characterisation tools such as Angular-resolved Reflectance and Transmittance Analysis (ARTA) and Fourier Transform Infra-Red spectroscopy (FTIR).

II – Student profile

A large fraction of this project will involve experimental work and is a good match for students interested in getting familiar with a range of material and optical characterisation techniques. Some of the oxide growth experiments can take up to a few days in the programmable muffle furnace, the project will therefore require a good level of planning and organisation to be able to use time effectively. This project is inherently multidisciplinary and is best suited to naturally curious and creative students.

III – References

  • Daejong Kim, Injin Sah, Donghoon Kim, Woo-Seog Ryu, and Changheui Jang. High temperature oxidation behavior of alloy 617 and haynes 230 in impurity-controlled helium environments. Oxidation of Metals, 75(1):103–119, Feb 2011.
  • C.E. Kennedy. Review of mid- to high-temperature solar selective absorber materials. Technical report, 01 2002.

Resistive Thermal Energy Storage (RTES): an alternative for economical, flexible and large scale electricity storage on the grid

I - Objectives

Renewable electricity sources are progressively displacing fossil fuel based technologies on the grid owing to large cost reductions. The most popular options, photovolatic moduls and wind turbines, supply a variable electricity input to the grid taht does not exactly match the demand from consumers. To address this mismatch between production and consumption of electricity, electricity storage technologies are currently investigated to store large amounts of electricity when production exceeds consumption and release it into the grid when the demand is higher than the supply.

Currently, only one technolgy exists to address this challenge: pumped-hydro electricity storage (PHES). PHES can be cost effective in specific geographical loacations, in presence of electrical transmission network and provided that the capacity of the plant is large enough. The other alternatives are to expensive (betteries), or too site-specific (compressed air electricity storage) for large scale storage of electicity. This project explores an alternative technology which is not site-specific and potentially has a smaller environmental impact and cost than all above-mentioned options.

Resistive Thermal Electricity Storage (RTES) stores electricity in the form of heat at high-temperature and then produces energy by converting this heat into electricity in a thermodynamic engine (steam turbine for example). Preliminary work presented at the APSRC conference in 2018 showed encouraging technico-economical evaluations of the technology. The objective of this project is to take the conceptual design and explore specific design options for key components of the system: power electronics, resistive heater and controls.

II – Student profile

This project is focussed on developing design ideas and solutions to refine the performance and cost evaluation of RTES and will focus on modelling work. Students with curiosity for multi-physics numerical modelling are best suited for this project. Some interest and/or knowledge in economical evaluation of energy projects could be useful.

III – References




Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  09 May 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers