An expert on solar energy who holds a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering, Markschläger has held senior positions with the SCHOTT Group at the international level since 1999 and took over responsibility for the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) division on October 1. Dr. Nikolaus Benz will remain responsible for the areas of R&D and Operations at SCHOTT Solar CSP as its second Managing Director. The company is also getting ready to begin producing its latest generation of receivers for solar thermal power plants. Here, an improved product design will increase its efficiency and long-term stability and strengthen SCHOTT’s leading position in the concentrated solar power market.
“We are delighted to have Dr. Markschläger take on the role of Managing Director. He will definitely help drive execution in this extremely promising field. The market is demanding sustainable power generation and grid stability, two areas that SCHOTT is well prepared to deliver on thanks to the innovative further development of its CSP technology,” notes Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz, member of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG.
As Managing Director, Markschläger will report directly to the Board of SCHOTT AG. In his most recent position he served as Managing Director of SCHOTT Solar Thin Film GmbH and managed the SCHOTT site in Jena. He will continue to hold both positions in the future. Markschläger succeeds Christoph Fark as Managing Director, who now heads the strategy department of SCHOTT AG. “We thank Christoph Fark for the excellent work he has done in building the CSP business on behalf of the group over the last few years,” Konz adds.
CSP receivers with even higher performance
Besides this change in leadership at the executive level of the company, SCHOTT Solar CSP will also be laying yet another milestone by commencing with manufacturing of its latest generation of receivers. By pursuing further development, SCHOTT will be helping to increase the efficiency and long-term success of concentrated solar power plant technology.
The receivers in CSP power plants convert concentrated solar radiation into heat that is used to produce steam to start with and then electrical power inside a steam turbine. The question of how much solar energy a receiver is capable of storing is crucial to the efficiency of a solar power plant. SCHOTT Solar has managed to increase the absorption level to over 95.5 percent by further developing a coating for its receivers. At the same time, heat radiation was lowered to under 9.5 percent. Technical and design measures also improve its capacity to absorb sunlight.
SCHOTT Solar has also developed noble gas capsules for integration into the receiver to permanently minimize heat losses. These can be opened at any time during operation of the power plant and ensure the efficiency of the receivers by absorbing substances that could detract from their performance. SCHOTT Solar thus extends the lifespan of its receivers and contributes to the economic success of the power plant.
Well-prepared for a positive market development “Thanks to our further development of our receiver technology, it will be possible to generate solar power even more cost-effectively in the future,” Markschläger explains. “By increasing the efficiency of CSP solar power plants, we will be contributing to the further growth of this key industry and cementing our lead position,” he adds.
Studies project annual market growth of €15 billion for CSP in the years to come. CSP technology is considered to offer particularly high potential for the future because it guarantees stability in the power grid. After all, unlike other forms of renewable energy, the heat collected inside the receiver can be stored and then be transformed into electricity when the grid is actually in need of power. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the U.S., approx. 60 solar thermal power plants are already connected to the grid on a global basis and capable of supplying entire cities with electricity. Yet another 40 power plants are under construction or in the detailed planning phase. “SCHOTT Solar CSP is in an excellent position to be able to benefit from this market growth,” Markschläger concludes.