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Mike Wagner

Researcher IV-Mechanical Engineering | 303-384-7430

Mike joined the Thermal Systems group at NREL in 2009. His work at NREL includes thermal systems modeling and predictive performance analysis of concentrating solar and power generation systems. Mike has developed several performance models for NREL's System Advisor Model software, including modeling tools for Linear Fresnel, power tower, and parabolic trough technologies. He is also the developer of a power tower layout and optimization tool called SolarPILOT that combines analytical and stochastic methods to define and optically characterize power tower solar fields.

Mike is principal investigator on a project that develops a tool for algorithmic optimization of plant design, operations, and maintenance policies. He has previously led the research and development of a high-temperature, gas-phase solar receiver for super-critical carbon dioxide applications, and he provides expertise in time series analysis of transient and coupled systems, optical and thermal system characterization, computational fluid dynamics, nonlinear and mixed-integer programming, and engineering software development.

Before joining NREL, Mike worked as a graduate research assistant at University of Wisconsin-Madison Solar Energy Lab, where he developed an optimization/design tool and detailed transient system component models for power tower technology.


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison