Monday, 9. October 2006 | 15:00 Uhr


Aldo Steinfeld


ETH Zurich & PSI


Aldo Steinfeld shows the potential of alternative energy sources. This potential is enormous, but is associated in most cases with substantial investments. For onshore wind energy, the potential is huge enough, but offshore it is even greater, although feeding the energy into the grid remains a major challenge (a connection within 20 km is essential). Wind energy is expensive, for example, in Switzerland. Hydroenergy also has potential. And the potential of geothermal energy is vast, but its exploitation is associated with huge investments. Concentrated solar energy (e.g. parabolic mirrors in combination with steam turbines) is being used for energy production in California and Spain. But obstacles need to be overcome, such as fluctuations in energy volume and distances between production site and place of consumption. Research is aimed at achieving greater efficiency, for example with solar chemical fuels (H2).

Aldo Steinfeld

Aldo Steinfeld has been Associate Professor of Renewable Energy Carriers at the ETH-Zurich since 2004. He further leads the Solar Technology Laboratory at the Paul Scherrer Institute.

He was born 1960 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He received his B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Technion in 1983, his M.Sc. from Tel Aviv University in 1986, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1989. Following his doctoral graduation, he was Research Fellow at the Energy Research Center of the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 1991 he joined the Paul Scherrer Institute as Head of the Solar Process Technology Group and, in 2005, was appointed Head of the Solar Technology Laboratory.

His research program is aimed at the advancement of the thermal and thermochemical engineering sciences applied in the field of renewable energy technology, with focus in:
– Radiation heat transfer in multi-phase chemical reacting flows.
– Thermodynamic analysis of novel energy conversion processes.
– High-temperature thermochemical reactor engineering.
– Solar chemistry (e.g. solar hydrogen).
– Decarbonization and CO2 mitigation technologies.

Prof. Steinfeld is the Editor of the ASME – Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. He served as the Operating Agent of the International Energy Agency’s SolarPACES Program, as the Chair of the ASME Solar Chemistry Committee, and as Associate Editor of Energy – The International Journal (Elsevier Science). He has authored over 80 research articles in scientific journals, and chapters in the Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology and the Encyclopedia of Energy.

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