U.S. Department of Energy

Mark Lausten

Technology Development Manager

SunShot CSP Program

On Contract from SRA International, Inc.

Mark is a registered professional engineer with a background in the power industry engineering, procurement, and construction. He began work for the Solar Energy Technologies Office in 2007, focusing on market barriers to large-scale solar deployment. He has watched the state of the concentrating solar power (CSP) market change from nearly barren to flourishing.

Photo of Team Member.

"When I was first introduced to the DOE program, I was instantly 'hooked' by the scale of CSP and its high potential to have a serious impact on the utility-scale electrical power generation industry," Mark says.

Mark provides technical management for a portfolio of SunShot investments, with a primary emphasis on power cycles and solar collectors. This work allows him to be at the forefront of technologies that provide critical solutions necessary for CSP to thrive in both the near-term and future energy markets.

Several projects that Mark manages are likely to cut solar collector costs in half within the next few years, and reduce those costs even further by the end of the decade. Two projects in the area of power cycles—the 10-Megawatt Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Turbine and Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Turbo-Expander and Heat Exchangers projects—involve supercritical carbon dioxide (s-CO2) turbines, which have the potential to yield thermal-to-electric conversion efficiencies that are greater than 50%. At these efficiencies, the total collector area can be reduced by 15% to 25%.

In December 2012, SunShot released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for CSP Heat Integration for Baseload Renewable Energy Development (HIBRED). Projects selected for this FOA support advancement of the hybridization of CSP technologies with large fossil fuel plants. Mark believes these efforts have the potential to open new viable markets in the near term to strengthen the CSP supply chain. In the future, a number of the current SunShot projects will integrate CSP directly into efficient and technologically mature combustion gas turbines, enabling greater than 50% solar thermal-to-electric conversion efficiency.

In alignment with SunShot goals, Mark intends to help bring progressive technology forward to achieve aggressive cost reductions and performance advances. In this way, he believes that that CSP can be the power generation technology of choice for many new utility power generation needs. He sees tremendous value and potential for CSP to deliver solutions to our energy markets—solutions that are viable in the market now and that will enable strong growth to serve broader markets throughout the coming years.

Mark manages the following projects: