Mr Charles-Alexis Asselineau

PhD Candidate
Research Officer
Research Area:
B. Eng., M.Sc. Eng. & Thermal sciences

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).

PhD thesis: "Geometrical optimisation of receivers for concentrating solar thermal systems" submitted.

Scientific interest

  • Thermodynamics
  • Coupled heat-transfer problems
  • Monte-Carlo ray tracing
  • Concentrating optics
  • Stochastic optimisation


  • Optical modeling of radiative heat-transfers in cavity receivers using ray-tracing techniques.
  • Receiver design and geometrical shape optimisation through stochastic and multi-objective optimisation methods.
  • Applied exergetic analysis.

Research Outline

My research focuses on the conversion of concentrated solar power (CSP) into useful energy. In CSP systems, the receiver converts optically concentrated radiation into heat at high temperature. The resulting heat is used in a thermodynamic engine to produce electricity, a chemical reactor to run thermo-chemical processes, as process heat in a factory or stored in a thermal energy storage system for later use (night time or peak grid hours for example). My objective is to improve the efficiency of CSP systems by improving the performance and lowering the cost of receivers which are the key components that convert concentrated radiation into heat.

The energy conversion process in receivers involves coupled heat transfer modes (radiative, conductive and convective heat transfer) that depend on the geometry of the device, materials and surface properties. The preferred method to study non-trivial radiative heat transfer problems in CSP is Monte-Carlo ray-tracing (MCRT). MCRT can be very flexible and accurate but relatively slow and computationally intensive. This limitation hinders the potential for optimisation which in turns impact the efficiency of the overall technology.

My approach to this problem is to develop stochastic optimisation methods embedded in Monte-Carlo ray tracing to optimise receiver geometries with an affordable computational time. In addition, by introducing multi-objective optimisation criteria and evolutionary algorithms, my methods can be used to refine designs and explore the complex behaviour of high temperature optical systems.

Figure: 3-dimensional and projected second principle efficiency maps for a tower receiver geometry example.

In a more theoretical aspect of my research, I study the fundemental thermodynamic limits to the conversion of concentrated radiation into work, analysing the consequences of the second law of thermodynamics in high temperature radiant systems.


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.

  • Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Clothilde Corsi, Joe Coventry, John Pye: Geometrical Exploration of a Flux-Optimised Sodium Receiver through Multi-Objective Optimisation. SolarPACES 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE; 10/2016

  • John Pye, Joe Coventry, Felix Venn, José Zapata, Ehsan Abbasi, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Greg Burgess, Graham Hughes, Will Logie: Experimental Testing of a High-Flux Cavity Receiver. SolarPACES 2016, Abu Dhabi; 10/2016

  • Joe Coventry, Maziar Arjomandi, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Alfonso Chinnici, Clotilde Corsi, Dominic Davis, Jin-Soo Kim, Apurv Kumar, Wojciech Lipiński, William Logie, Graham Nathan, John Pye, Woei Saw: Development of ASTRI High-Temperature Solar Receivers. SolarPACES2016, Abu Dhabi; 10/2016

  • Ye Wang, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Joe Coventry, John Pye: Optical Performance of Bladed Receivers for CSP Systems. ASME Power & Energy 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; 06/2016, DOI:10.1115/ES2016-59693

  • Charles-Alexis Asselineau, John Pye: Exergetic efficiency of point-focus concentrators using realistic flux distributions. Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference, Brisbane; 12/2015

  • William Logie, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, John Pye, Joe Coventry: Temperature and Heat Flux Distributions in Sodium Receiver Tubes. Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference, Brisbane; 12/2015

  • John Pye, Graham Hughes, Ehsan Abbasi, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Greg Burgess, Joe Coventry, Will Logie, Felix Venn, José Zapata: Development of a Higher-Efficiency Tubular Cavity Receiver for Direct Steam Generation on a Dish Concentrator. SolarPACES 2015, Cape Town, South Africa; 10/2015, DOI:10.1063/1.4949081

  • Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Jose Zapata, John D. Pye: Geometrical Shape Optimization of a Cavity Receiver Using Coupled Radiative and Hydrodynamic Modeling. Energy Procedia; 05/2015, DOI:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.03.032

  • Jose I Zapata, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, John Pye, Martin Kaufer, Graham Hughes: An Integrated Optical and Thermal Model of Cavity Receivers for Paraboloidal Dish Concentrators. 2014 Asia-PAcific Solar Research Conference, Sydney; 12/2014

  • Charles-Alexis Asselineau, José Zapata, John Pye: Integration of Monte-Carlo ray tracing with a stochastic optimisation method: Application to the design of solar receiver geometry. OSA Light, Energy and Environment 2014, Canberra, Australia; 12/2014, DOI:10.1364/OSE.2014.RTu3B.3

  • John D. Pye, Graham Hughes, José Zapata, Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Joseph Coventry, Ehsan Abbasi, Martin Kaufer, Felix Venn: Improved Tubular Receivers for Point-focus Concentrators. OSA Light, Energy and the Environment 2014, Canberra, Australia; 12/2014, DOI:10.1364/OSE.2014.RW3B.4

  • J Pye, M Zheng, C.-A Asselineau, J Coventry: An exergy analysis of tubular solar-thermal receivers with different working fluids. SolarPACES 2014, Beijing; 09/2014

  • Charles-Alexis Asselineau, Ehsan Abbasi, John Pye: Open cavity receiver geometry influence on radiative losses. Solar2014: The 52nd Annual Conference of the Australian Solar Council, Melbourne, Australia.; 05/2014, DOI:10.13140/2.1.3845.5048

  • A. Ramos, C.A. Asselineau, J. Gonzalez-Aguilar, M.M. Rahman, M. Romero, D.Y. Goswami, E.K. Stefanakos: Transient Numerical Analysis of PCM-Contained spherical capsules for heat storage in concentrating solar power plants. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Energy Storage (INNOSTOCK 2012), Lleida, Spain, May.; 05/2012


Updated:  1 January 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing