June 29, 2022 DOE Solar Awards for 3 Energy Systems Faculty Written By: Caitlin Scott Departments: Mechanical Engineering Categories: Faculty|Grants|Research Two more recent awards to Mechanical Engineering from the Department of Energy – Golden Field Office. Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Mike Wagner and Co-Investigator Professor Doug Reindl received funding for their project ‘Performance Improvement in CSP Plant Operations.’ The objective of the project is to improve the operating performance of existing concentrating solar power (CSP) plants and to bring together CSP plant stakeholders to collaborate and share experiences/challenges related to CSP plant operations and maintenance. The ultimate goal is to develop a framework that will enable a sustained collaborative network of CSP professionals that, together, can more rapidly achieve continuous improvements. The project period is June 2022 through May 2025 and total award funds are $1,600,000. ME Professor Greg Nellis and Co-Investigator Mike Wagner were awarded $328,000 for their project, ‘Low-cost heliostat for high-flux small-area receivers.’ With this project they plan to develop a low-cost heliostat for high-flux, small area, point-focused receivers with a design thermal rating between 100 kW and 1 MW. An inexpensive heliostat with these capabilities will enable cost-competitive, dispatchable, high-temperature solar thermal technologies at a modular scale. The performance period is May 2022 – October 2023.