LG Electronics is a consumer electronics manufacturer and has committed to expanding its operations in the PV-industry. Their Solar Module LG NeON 2 BiFacial is a high-efficiency bifacial module that can provide a significant increase in energy yields. The NeON cell technology and the 12-wire CELLO interconnection were transferred into this new module. LG conducted and documented outdoor tests under several common conditions in which the yield increase was about 10 percent. With the junction box concept, the usual single junction box is split into three smaller boxes that are located outside the cell area to avoid shading and heating on the backside. The relatively low weight makes the installation more convenient. Bifacial technology is an important trend, and the jury was convinced by the cleverness of an installation that needs less material and less space while producing the same total system power.
Based in Germany, M10 Industries develops, produces, and services manufacturing systems for the solar industry. The Multi-Tray-Stringer Kubus is the only stringer worldwide that can solder up to 5,000 solar cells an hour, representing a highly significant development in productivity.The system interconnects an entire module in the soldering process at once. The Kubus system eliminates the need to place single strings side by side, and dramatically reduces cell handling. All components can be replenished during production without stopping the machine, reducing downtime. A variety of cell concepts with variable numbers of busbars can be processed with the same machine, enabling retrofitting in existing production lines.Photovoltaics must gain market share by reducing production costs for the worldwide energy transition. The jury recognizes the high output, lower material consumption, and the single-person operation that help reduce production costs.
SolarEdge is a global provider of inverter solutions for the solar PV market, and strives to broaden the availability of renewable solar energy. SolarEdge’s HD Wave power conversion technology underpins a compact, lightweight inverter with a record weighted efficiency up to 99 percent. It uses distributed switching and a powerful digital signal processor to synthesize clean sine waves, and contributes to increased power density.The inverter is approximately 50 percent smaller than most other inverters on the market. Magnetic components and cooling elements are significantly reduced, and silicon MOSFETs are stacked in multi-level architecture for reduced conversion loss. SolarEdge expects lower manufacturing costs, making one of the main components of a PV system notably cheaper.The jury is awarding innovation and value throughout the entire PV value chain with this outstanding product.
Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León, author of SB 350, California’s landmark 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard law, along with several other key clean energy laws, is the well-deserving 2016 recipient of the Intersolar Champion of Change Award. De León is committed to passing big, bold laws that will create the clean energy future for all to benefit from. From promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency to passing the nation’s largest incentive program for electric cars, Pro Tem De León’s passion and commitment to clean energy and climate change solutions seem to know no bounds. Last winter, he traveled to Paris to share his message of economic growth and environmental sustainability to the international stage. From urban rooftop solar jobs to fighting the asthma epidemic plaguing our cities, for Kevin, the fight for clean air and a better future is local and it is personal.
Jakson Engineers is a diversified power solution provider that undertakes projects for sustainable growth. This project in Baripatha, India, created a solar-powered village in India with the installation of central, and individual solar units.This community-owned project has improved the quality of life of an entire rural village. The villagers clean the solar panels and maintain battery water levels themselves. The solar unit can be folded up and stored in just two minutes in case of cyclones or high winds. The provision of microfinancing was a key component to the project’s realization, which will help the long-term success of the project.Although not extraordinarily technically innovative, it is a replicable off-grid application that reduces pollution and reliance on kerosene. This overwhelming social and environmental impact convinced the jury of its outstanding character.
ME SOLshare is a platform provider for sustainable and affordable electricity access to low-income, rural Bangladesh. Their peer-to-peer smart PV DC village micro-grid in Shariatpur is the world’s first peer-to-peer electricity trading network that interconnects existing Solar Home Systems. Bi-directional metering enables users to buy and sell electricity to the grid. Households that did not have their own system can now buy electricity from their neighbors.With more solar power, fossil fuel use declines, and villages benefit from access to more energy. The jury described this local solar-generated-electricity marketplace as a “powerful concept” and “exciting.” This project is a bottom-up, decentralized approach that demonstrates sustainable, incremental demand/supply-side system growth for increased energy access with lower investment. It is a new business model that is replicable in other villages.
S.O.L.I.D. is an Austrian solar engineering company specializing in large-scale solar thermal energy plants. They engineered the largest solar thermal cooling installation of its kind at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. The installation supplies heat to a single-effect lithium bromide adsorption chiller. Scottsdale has temperatures up to 43 degrees Celsius, and this system can cover 100 percent of the cooling demand in the summer. The system also impacts environmental education for the 2,600 students at the school, and in the community.This large-scale project is a demonstration of an highly effective business model using proven technology while saving fossil fuels and drastically reducing CO² emissions. Providing significant energy savings, the system demonstrates that it is possible to realize and refinance a solar thermal system of this size, particularly in regions where cooling is very common.
Schneider Electric Solar Company delivers solutions across the energy chain. Their project in Lagos, Nigeria, is a standardized solution that replaces diesel genset dependency with solar on a large scale in a geographically-challenging area.A charge controller that allows long runs of PV at high voltage to simplify electric cabling, a plug and play communication gateway, robust products for the harsh African environment, and a system pre-engineered and designed to fit in a pre-fab container were all part of the solution.The jury was also convinced by this project’s immense social impact. Technology, process, competency and fund-sourcing were combined to create a sustainable, plug and play system. It also proves that this technology pays off, and can stabilize security of supply in rurally isolated areas. It is a pragmatic approach for scalable solar electrification in areas with poor access to the grid.
SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH is a subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology AG, and is engaged in photovoltaic hybrid projects around the world. The St. Eustatius Island Electrification via hybrid Utility Scale Solar and Storage project is the first of its size and class in the Caribbean, and helps free the island from genset dependency. It can also be marketed to show the technological feasibility to a wide audience and animate further investment. This combination is not new, but the inclusion of storage is key, and puts this project at the forefront of diesel substitution development. This lighthouse project integrates large shares of solar power into a diesel-power grid, reducing operating costs, CO² emissions, and diesel dependence. The storage component adds stability with frequency regulation, ramp-rate control and diesel working point optimization. There is a drastic reduction in diesel running hours, and emissions.