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INTERSOLAR AWARD: Finalists Announced For The Solar Industry Innovation Prize

published: 2016-05-20 10:32

Complete with a new category and record number of submissions, this year’s Intersolar AWARD pays tribute to ground-breaking innovations in the solar industry for the ninth time in a row. Joining the established Photovoltaics category is the category entitled Outstanding Solar Projects, which will this year make its debut on a global level. The new category recognizes outstanding projects from around the world that make an exceptional contribution to driving forward the solar energy transition. The winners will be announced in an official ceremony on June 22, 2016 at Intersolar Europe, the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. The exhibition takes place in Munich from June 22–24, 2016.

Highly regarded in the industry, the award serves as testament of the pioneering position held by finalists and winners in the market. This year, it was not only Intersolar exhibitors who could submit entries for the award – owners of solar projects were also eligible.

An Intersolar AWARD debut

This year, the prize was expanded to include a further category: Outstanding Solar Projects honors projects that drive forward the global energy transition. The submissions are indicative of the wide range of areas in which solar energy can be used. From a power-to-gas plant to the installation of a microgrid in Bangladesh that supplies clean solar power to homes not fitted with their own PV installations, the projects that were entered highlight the wide range of potential solar energy applications. Especially pleasing was that many of the projects submitted do not require grants or subsidies, as they are economical and their investment costs will be recovered in just a few years. Many initiatives have succeeded in generating power in their regions at a cheaper rate than power purchased from the grid. Numerous projects place particular emphasis on helping society. In addition to generating power, they also bring additional benefits to the regions in which they are installed. One example is in India, where small villages have been given access to electricity for the first time, enabling locals to read and study in the evening using electric lighting. The submissions also show that numerous countries are now turning their focus to large-scale photovoltaic installations, some of which with double-digit megawatt outputs. These systems make a valuable contribution to the energy transition.

Increase in economic viability and reduction in production costs – the 2016 trends

This year once again, the established Photovoltaics category received a large number of submissions, ranging from a production facility for cell strings to solar modules, inverters, trackers and electronics and from roof integration and mounting systems to operation and maintenance products and services. As in the past, many submissions aim to boost the economic viability of solar installations by increasing their efficiency whilst reducing production costs, thus accelerating the expansion of solar power generation around the world.

Award ceremony and short presentations by the finalists

The winners of the Intersolar AWARD in the categories of Photovoltaics and Outstanding Solar Projects will be announced in an official ceremony on June 22 at Intersolar Europe, together with the winners of the ees AWARD. This year once again, ees Europe, the continent’s largest exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, takes place in parallel to Intersolar Europe. Before the ceremony, visitors will have a chance to find out about the nominated projects and the brains behind them. On June 22 between 10:30am and 3:00pm, the finalists will hold short presentations about their submissions and be on hand to answer any questions at the Innovation and Application Forum. The ceremony will kick off at 4:30pm, and will also take place at the Innovation and Application Forum (hall A2, booth A2.530).

The finalists

The finalists of the Outstanding Solar Projects category:

  • Alpiq InTec Management AG (Switzerland): Investigation into creating an intelligent power distribution grid. The Gridsense smart-energy solution combines an energy management system for smart buildings with a smart grid control system that monitors and regulates grid quality. DHYBRID Power Systems GmbH (Germany): Installation of a PV-diesel hybrid system on Mustique Island in the Caribbean, saving almost 500,000 liters of diesel per year.
  • Aquion Energy (USA): Construction of a residential smart grid in Bakken Hale on Hawaii with a 176 kW solar array and 1 MWh storage capacity. The project stands out with a new environmentally friendly battery system made from carbon, manganese oxide and saltwater. The saltwater-based electrolyte used does not contain any heavy metals or toxic chemicals.
  • Jakson Engineers LTD (India): Electrification of a village in India, making it the first village in the state of Odisha to be powered completely by solar energy.
  • ME SOLshare Ltd. (Germany): A microgrid in the Shakimali Madborkandi village in Bangladesh connects owners of solar home systems with neighboring households not fitted with their own PV installations.
  • Modern Arabia for Solar Energy MASE (Jordan): Installation of 400 roof-mounted solar installations with a total output of 600 kilowatt peak (kWp), facilitating access to cleaner, cheaper energy for low-income households.
  • Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (India): Installation of a PV power plant with an output of 1 megawatt (MW) at India’s Katra Railway Station, an environmentally sensitive area with high visibility due to the 10 million pilgrims who pass through the station each year.
  • RWE Deutschland (Germany): Installation and operation of a power-to-gas demonstration plant with an output of 150 kilowatts (kW). The plant links the power grid, gas grid and heating network, while allowing excess energy to be converted into gas.
  • S.O.L.I.D. (Austria): Most powerful solar cooling system of its kind in the world, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. With a collector area of 4,865 m² and a cooling capacity of 1,750 kW, the system provides the air conditioning for a school with over 2,600 students.
  • Schneider Electric SE (France): Photovoltaic installations and battery storage units fitted in 170 schools and 11 public health centers in Nigeria.
  • SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH (Germany): Construction of a hybrid power supply system comprising photovoltaic modules, battery storage units and diesel generators on St. Eustatius island in the Caribbean.
  • TERRA TECHNOLOGIES (Senegal): Construction of a house made from local materials in Dakar, Senegal that covers all its power requirements using renewable sources of energy. Excess power is fed into the public grid.
  • Umwelt Arena AG (Switzerland): Construction of a self-sufficient multi-family dwelling powered entirely by photovoltaics in Brütten, Switzerland. Excess power is stored in batteries or converted into hydrogen to be used as heat.

The following submissions have made it through to the final round in the Photovoltaics category:

  • IBC SOLAR AG (Germany): Control system for solar-powered water pumps for use in agriculture.
  • iLumen BVBA (Belgium): Easy-to-install PID box that regenerates PV modules damaged by potential induced degradation (PID) at night.
  • LG Electronics Deutschland GmbH (Germany): Bifacial solar module with the ability to boost a system’s yields by more than 10% in an optimal installation environment.
  • M10 Industries AG (Germany): Multi-tray stringer with the capacity to process up to 5,000 solar cells per hour, significantly reducing PV module production costs.
  • MBJ Solutions GmbH (Germany): Module tester for production facilities which combines several quality tests, increasing the efficiency of final checks for manufactured modules.
  • NEXTracker (USA): Technical, cost-effective package solution for PV ground-mounted installations, allowing projects to be installed efficiently as well as boosting yields and thus improving economic viability.
  • Solar Data Systems, Inc. (USA): Components for monitoring the yield and operation of PV installations built into a standard metering device.
  • SolarEdge Technologies (Israel): Highly efficient, compact inverter with innovative power electronics at less than half the weight and size of comparable standard devices.
  • Sunpreme Inc. (USA): Bifacial solar module with integrated optimizer in an extremely robust design, enabling it to withstand even adverse ambient conditions.
  • Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG (Germany): Innovative plug-in connector for DC cables that simplifies PV system cabling, considerably reducing cabling times and eliminating errors during the installation process.

Entry criteria for the Intersolar AWARD

The Intersolar AWARD is presented by the organizers of Intersolar. Products, projects, services or solutions may be submitted by exhibitors from all international Intersolar and ees exhibitions taking place in 2016. Refinements of products and services previously presented at the exhibition are also accepted. As of this year, owners of solar projects are also invited to take part in the award in the Outstanding Solar Projects category. Projects must be fully completed and no older than two years at the time the application for the Intersolar AWARD is submitted.

Intersolar Europe 2016 takes place from June 22–24, 2016 at Messe München.

Further information on Intersolar Europe can be found at www.intersolar.de/en

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