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Concentrated solar thermal: Optics, heat transfer, chemistry


Prof. Wojciech Lipiński

Independent Researcher

Date & Time

Monday, 7 August 2023

6:00 am


Tam Wing Fan Innovation Wing Two
G/F, Run Run Shaw Building, HKU


High-flux solar irradiation obtained with optical concentrators is a viable source of clean process heat for high-temperature physical and chemical processing. Traditionally, the progress in concentrating solar thermal technologies has been driven by advancements in concentrated solar power, in particular in the context of large-scale dispatchable power generation. Solar thermochemistry is concerned with direct thermochemical production of chemical fuels and materials processing, without intermediate electricity generation, promising high energy conversion efficiencies. Solar thermal and thermochemical technologies offer unique advantages in rapidly evolving mixed renewable energy systems. They can complement direct renewable electricity generation technologies through sharing of relatively inexpensive but large energy storage capacity and by enabling hybrid thermo–electrochemical operation of chemical processing systems. This presentation gives an overview of concetrated solar thermal technology for power generation, processing of fuels and materials, environmental separations, and energy storage, along with discussing selected pertinent studies in optical, thermal and chemical engineering sciences.


Wojciech Lipiński obtained his Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from Warsaw University of Technology (2000), doctorate in mechanical and process engineering from ETH Zurich (2004), and habilitation in energy technology from ETH Zurich (2009). He held academic positions at ETH Zurich (2004–2009), the University of Minnesota (2009–2013), and the Australian National University (2013–2021).

Lipiński's research interests are in optical, thermal and chemical engineering sciences applied to solar energy. His basic research focuses on advances in transport and reactive flow phenomena in high-temperature multiphase systems, in particular for problems with significant radiative transfer effects. Lipiński's work primarily underpins developments in concentrated solar thermal technology for power generation, processing of fuels and materials, environmental separations, and energy storage.

Lipiński is currently serving on editorial boards of Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer and Solar Energy. He was an associate editor for Journal of Solar Energy Engineering (2011–2017) and a guest editor for Advances in Chemical Engineering book series (2021). He is involved in the International Centre for Heat and Mass Transfer and several other professional societies. His work has been recognised, among others, with the Elsevier/JQSRT Raymond Viskanta Award (2013) and the ASME Yellott Award (2020). Lipiński is an enthusiast of free/libre software and its adoption in academic research and education.

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Prof. X.B. Yin

+(852) 3910 2659

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