Dr. Nicolas Calvet
Dr. nicolas calvet Assistant Professor Mechanical Engineering

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Inspired by Felix Trombe, a French scientist who built the biggest solar furnace in the world in the 70’s, I am a passionate about Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) & Thermal Energy Storage (TES). I am the Founder and Chair of the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP), the first facility in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) dedicated to CSP & TES R&D. I am collaborating with global industrial partners to test and demonstrate technologies in desert harsh environment.

In parallel, I am a university Professor of Sustainable Energy in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Khalifa University of Science & Technology. I am also a Consultant in sustainable industrial energy generation and energy efficiency.

I am honored to represent the UAE at the SolarPACES Executive Committee, a technology collaborative program from the International Energy Agency. 

Finally, I am an Entrepreneur in Circular Economy. Based on my Ph.D work, I founded Seramic Materials Ltd., a startup company, pioneer in recycled ceramics. We are up-cycling industrial solid waste into value-added ceramic products in the technical ceramics and construction materials markets.

  • Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences - Energy & Environment
  • M.Sc. Sciences & Technologies - Solar Energy
  • B.S. - Sciences Physics

  • Thermal Properties of Materials (NUCE601)
  • Concentrated Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage (MEEN356)
  • Solar Thermal Analysis, Design and Testing (CIVE640)
  • Sustainable Energy (MEEN607)
  • Sustainable Energy (MEEN486)

Affiliated Research Institutes/Centers
  • Research and Innovation Center on CO2 and Hydrogen
  • Masdar Institute

Research Interests
  • Concentrated Solar Power
  • Thermal Energy Storage
  • Industrial Waste Heat Recovery
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Circular Economy
  • Sustainable Devlopment
  • Renewable Energy
  • Materials Science

Research Projects

Electrical Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) Demonstration, in collaboration with AZELIO A.B. (Sweden) & Masdar (UAE).

This is the first production of dispatchable clean electricity in Masdar City and the first demonstration of ETES in the UAE. 500 kWp of solar PV panels generate electricity that is stored during the day in a latent heat thermal energy storage system. A metal alloy is used as a phase change material (PCM), which melts during the day and solidifies at night releasing heat that is converted back to electricity through Stirling engines. 

Concentrated Solar Power on Demand Demonstration  (CSPonD Demo) in collaboration with MIT (USA)

We have designed, built and successfully experimented the world’s first direct absorption molten salt volumetric solar receiver/energy storage system using 4.5 tons of molten salt in a more cost-efficient way.

EnergyNest A.S. (Norway) first demonstration Pilot

We have developed a hot-oil loop facility to test thermal energy storage systems up to 400C for parabolic trough or industrial waste heat recovery applications. We have tested EnergyNest Thermal Batterie (1 MWh concrete-based TES system) at 400°C  for one full year. Thanks to this first pilot, EnergyNest recently raised 130M$ to commercialize this technology.

Establishment of the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP)

In 2013, I decided to create the first facility in the UAE dedicated to solar and thermal energy storage R&D. The objective was to attract international collaboration to test technologies in desert harsh environment. Some collaborations included Azelio (Sweden), EnergyNest (Norway), MIT (USA), NASA (USA), Ibiden (Japan), Wahaj Solar (UAE), DLR (Germany), etc. In total, I directly managed 40 people including Postdoctoral Researchers (7), Research Engineers (9), Research Assistants (15), and Interns (9) for about 11M$ of projects. My 9-year work was highlighted in the UAE Pavilion at the Expo2020 Dubai among 20 innovations “the Land of dreamers who do”.

Research Staff and Graduate Students:

Dr. Nicolas Lopez Ferber Postdoctoral Researcher
Tommy Malm Consultant Research Engineer
Brenda Hernández Corona Ph.D. Student
Muhammad Muhammad Nawaz Abdullah M.Sc. Student
Essa Subuktagin Ansari M.Sc. Student
Asem Alemam Ph.D. Student
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