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Meet the team at Absolicon – Andrea

2023-09-14

Hej Andrea! Please tell us some about your background.

“I work as an Innovation Engineer in solar thermal at Absolicon. I was born in Lecce and I grew up in Rome, Italy. I came to Sweden eight years ago and started working at Absolicon about two years ago.”

What did you study and what’s your professional background?

“I have a master in energy engineering. During my academic journey, I had the opportunity to attend different faculties, so it was a varied course of study in Italy, Spain, Iceland and Sweden.  After graduation I continued to do research both at the university and outside. Thereafter I worked with three different employers: I had a brief experience as a mechanical engineer, then I worked four years for a company specialized in aquaponics and finally, I started working for Absolicon.”

What is your role in the company and what are your work activities?  

“As a Innovation Engineer, my role is divided into two parts: On the one hand, I deal with customer-oriented problems, conducting conceptual designs and feasibility studies to evaluate projects and find the best solutions for the integration of solar thermal system, and evaluate the addition of other complementary technologies. The other part is R&D, I developed many simulation models to assess the performance and the synergies of different components in the solar thermal family, such as energy storages. My work combines interaction with customers to meet their needs and research to continuously improve solar technologies.”

What problem do you solve for the customer?  

“My work with the customers is divided into two distinctive phases. In the first phase, I look at the data provided by the client: in order to find the best solar thermal integration, I need to understand how the customer process works. This includes discussions of temperatures, pressures, flows, technical specification of components etc. The analysis of the customer’s process has already a value for the customer per se, and we refer to it as “energy-mapping”. After this phase, I use the information I gathered to perform a series of simulations and sensitivity analysis. My overall goal is to identify and characterize the solar thermal configurations to integrate in the client’s setup that maximize the performances in terms of costs and CO2 emission reductions.”

What do you expect from global energy demand in the next 10 years?  

“I’m convinced we can reduce the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. I am optimistic about renewable energy, which will become more and more affordable due to growing demand and technological innovation. As an example, costs of solar photovoltaic power and wind power have already decreased significantly from over 100$/W in the ‘70s to less than 0.5 $/W of today, making them more efficient and affordable.”

What solution do you see to the renewable transformation?

“There will be no single technological solution to solve all energy problems. We will have to take an integrated approach, using a combination of technologies such as solar thermal, hydrogen, batteries, electrification, heat pumps. Each sector has different unique requirements, so it will be necessary to adapt solutions to specific needs.”

Is there something specific about the Absolicon technology you want to highlight? 

“What excites me the most is that our solar collectors are made from mainly recyclable materials, without the use of precious metals, rare earths, or polluting materials. The main components are recyclable glass and steel put together by a small amount of glue. Unlike other energy sources that depend on rare materials that are difficult to recycle, our materials can be disassembled and reused without scarcity problems. This makes Absolicon’s solar thermal energy a sustainable and controversy-free choice compared to other energy sources.”

Now that we know more about what you do at Absolicon, what do you like to do in your free time?  

“I used to play rugby and I played in a band, but after I moved to Härnösand, it became more difficult for me to continue. Here I have discovered new passions, such as brewing my own beer, going fishing, beekeeping, raising chickens and gardening. I built a small spa in my home with a hot tub and I built a big greenhouse. I also love picking mushrooms and other berries because I love being in touch with nature. As a future goal, I am thinking of getting a hunting license.”

Would you like to share an aspiration or an advice?  

“From a young age, I was taught the importance of patience and discipline. I apply them constantly in every area of my life, despite the difficulties that may arise. My final advice is to embrace patience and discipline as fundamental to achieving one’s goals and realizing one’s dreams. With determination and perseverance, extraordinary results can be achieved.”

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