Meet The Instructors
Carlos Fernandez-Aballi, Ph.D.
Carlos Fernández-Aballí, Ph.D. works with Alternate Energy Technologies developing solar thermal projects for commercial applications and coordinating the company’s capacity building and outreach efforts through AET University. He lectured and researched at the Research Center for Renewable Energy Technologies (CETER) in the Technical University of Habana (UTH) and at Cuba’s Higher Institute of Industrial Design (ISDi). He has been in the organizing committee of international events such as the 2013 World Wind Energy Conference, the International Conference on Renewable Energy (CIER), and The International Conference for the Built Environment and Sustainable Development (MACDES). Dr. Fernández-Aballí has given conferences at the Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE) at Duke University"s Fuqua School of Business, University of West Indies, University of Florida, City University of New York and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
He is a founder of the Energizing Cuba initiative (www.energizingcuba.com) to bring investment in renewable energy from the USA to Cuba. His research has been in the development of technologies for harnessing renewable energy sources and generating business models that can drive sustainable development.
He holds three UNESCO Mondialogo Engineering awards for sustainable development and international dialogue. Dr. Fernández-Aballí studied Engineering Design at the University of Bristol (Masters), specializing in aero-mechanical systems and dynamical systems modeling. There, he was the founding Vice-President of Engineers Without Borders (Bristol Branch) and was awarded the Albert Fry Price for his extraordinary contribution to the life of the University.
He obtained his Ph.D. at the Technical University of Habana with studies at the University of Gent, identifying a new thermodynamic cycle corresponding to the Thermal Lag Engine.
Dr. Fernández-Aballí has lectured on Mathematics, Project Management, Processes, Renewable Energy, Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, Physics of Products and Materials and Solar Thermal Systems.
Nelson Hellmuth, P.E.
Nelson Hellmuth is a mechanical/solar engineer and has been involved in solar energy work for over 35 years. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida. He began working with Morning Star during the first rapid expansion of solar energy from 1980 to1986. He designed systems being installed around the country and other parts of the world.
When AET was formed, he began working with them as the Director of Engineering, continuing until today. One important job over the years has been to inspect and recommend repairs on solar systems installed by other companies that have not been working properly. This has been an education in the real world.
He has been working with photo voltaic systems since 1984 when he designed and oversaw the installation of the first utility interconnect PV system in Jacksonville Florida. This was the first system connected to the Jacksonville Electric Authority grid and was a 5 kw system that was monitored for over 5 years by a personal computer onsite. Fifteen years later in 1999 and 2000, he designed and oversaw the installation of small 4 kw PV systems at all the high schools in Jacksonville, again working with the Jacksonville Electric Authority. Since then he has designed many PV systems including a 100 kw system for the Florida National Guard at Camp Blanding in 2004 that was designed to be a modular system which would grow to 500 kw or more. This system has been designed, but not built yet. He has also worked with SunNRgy in Jacksonville on a 25 kw system installed on a commercial building in downtown Jacksonville.
Recently he designed and built an off grid solar building in Orange Park to be used as a classroom and demonstration building for independent living(no electric, water or sewage connections).
Timothy A. Villalva, has worked in the solar industry since 1975. He started out installing systems and then moved into manufacturing flat plate solar collectors. Timothy is AET’s Operations Manager and assists the engineering department with research and development, especially contributing to simplifying solutions in favor of their manufacturability. At AET he also works in solar system equipment installation, training and design. During his more than 30 years in the solar industry Timothy has installed, inspected and fixed hundreds of solar systems of all sizes. His vast experience means he is often asked to act as field inspector and the manufacturer’s representative to review system compliance. He also handles AET manufactured products warranty process. Tim has trained many generations of solar installers. He often visits the field to see what challenges installers are faced with. This continues to be invaluable for identifying areas of improvement both from a technological and a training perspective. Tim oversees the "hands on" training at AET University.