Meet leading solar innovators and industry awards

Published: 21 November 2018

Solar awards intended to reward the efforts made by those companies and teams that develop outstanding products or projects. Let’s take a look at some of the industry’s most important awards.

Innovation is the strategy that pushes companies forward, opens new opportunities and redesigns our way of living. And leading solar innovators are individuals or companies that excel at creating products or solutions that progress the solar industry.

That’s why solar awards exist today. They are intended to reward the efforts made by those companies and teams that develop outstanding products or projects.

Today we will address some of the most important awards available in the solar industry. 

Let’s begin!

Solar Innovators + Power Awards

Created in 2011 and organised by Angel Business Communications

The ceremony takes place in Brussels, Belgium and was created to recognise the whole value chain and those companies or products that were innovative in their own fields. 

While these awards take into account many categories that recognise leading solar innovators, here we present the most relevant: 

R&D Award

Devoted to those programs, companies or organisations that have innovative research and design new products, services and applications for the solar industry. 

The 2018 winners of this prize were the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) and the Leibniz Universitat Hannover who demonstrated that the fabrication of a polycrystalline solar cell could achieve a 26.1% efficiency.

Solar PV Equipment Award

This award recognises the tools that improve yield in PV manufacturing by increasing unit cell or improving customer satisfaction with new products. 

The 2018 winner was Ecoprogetti Srl with their LED solar simulator Ecosun Bifacial that offers tremendous accuracy in measuring the I/V characteristics of the front and rear bifacial PV modules.

Silicon Module Award

Recognises the design and efficiencies of silicon solar cells that exceed industry standards. 

The 2018 winner was LONGi Solar Technology with their Hi-MO3 half-cut bifacial PERC module series of 320 W (60-cell).

Intersolar Awards

The Intersolar Awards is also a very popular ceremony where companies in the solar PV industry are gathered together in Munich to celebrate the most outstanding products and solutions.

There are 3 main categories: Electrical Energy Storage, Outstanding Projects and Photovoltaics.

Electrical Energy Storage

Pays tribute to pioneering products and solutions for stationary and mobile electrical energy storage systems. 

Winners in this category were the SMA Sunny Central Storage with grid forming capability for hybrid applications, the Socomec’s Microgrid Energy Storage Solution and the Dynapower DC power conversion system.

Outstanding Projects

Recognises projects developed under solar, storage and energy management. The winners 2018 of this category were SolarBK, First Solar GmbH, and TESVOLT GmbH

There’s also an Australian project among the winners. The Off-grid Avocado project developed in Western Australia by Tesvolt and Unlimited Energy Australia is a 53 kW PV installation that combines 160 kWh salt-water batteries with 48 kWh lithium technology.

Photovoltaics 

Honours innovative technical products and solutions around the topic of photovoltaics. The 2018 winners were ABB, Hanwha Q Cells (BROKEN LINK) and Kriner Solar Gmbh. 

ABB won with its PVS-175-TL inverter which is a cloud-connected three-phase string solution for commercial roof applications and utility-scale projects. 

Hanwha Q cells won with their promising Q.Peak Duo-G5 which is a 120 half-cell solar module with efficiencies surrounding 19.9%.

Finally, Krinner Solar GmbH was the last winner with its CAS Computer Aided Solar Structure, an integrated software and hardware that reduces time for planning and installing large-scale solar projects by 30%.

Solar Design and Installation Award

Finally, the premium solar award for the Australian PV industry is the Solar Design and Installation Award from the Clean Energy Council

This award honours the commitment, design, and innovation of PV projects across Australia.

There are five categories:

  1. Under 30 kW: Stand-alone PV Power System
  2. Under 30 kW: Grid-connected PV Power System
  3. Under 30 kW: Grid-connected PV Power System with Battery Backup
  4. 30-240 kW
  5. Over 240 kW

Under 30kW: Stand-alone PV Power System 

Michael Reiken design: Stand-alone PV Power System

The 2018 winner of this category was Michael Reiken, who working with Excel Power, designed and installed an 8 kW off-grid system that enables an office and workshop to work independently with 2 days of autonomy.

Under 30kW: Grid-connected PV Power System

Matthew Leeson design: BIPV solar tile system

Matthew Leeson was the winner of this award with the installation of a 6.75 kW BIPV solar tile system that provides a beautiful design to the roof of an Australian house.

You might also like: What Are Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)? (BROKEN LINK)

Under 30 kW: Grid-connected PV Power System with Battery Backup

Luke Fraser design: Grid-connected PV Power System with Battery Backup

Luke Fraser was the winner in this case with a grid-tied with energy storage PV system that shows how to reduce the homeowner’s energy bill by $2700 per year, installing PV systems larger than 3.5 kW on constrained single wire earth return lines.

30-240 kW

Suntrix design: floating solar farm in Australia

Suntrix designed the first 99 kW floating solar farm in Australia on a dam at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. The amazing design encouraged the Council to expand the system to 400 kW.

Over 240 kW

Autonomous Energy designed a 2.2 MW solar system with 5581 solar panels on two buildings at the Sydney Markets

Finally, Autonomous Energy designed a 2.2 MW solar system with 5581 solar panels on two buildings at the Sydney Markets, making it the largest, privately owned rooftop PV system in the southern hemisphere.

Conclusion

We have seen three important awards of the solar industry that honoured some of the most outstanding projects, products and leading solar innovators that received a prize for their innovation in 2018. 

Every year new projects and companies take part in these awards, and even though they do not offer monetary prizes, they are valuable acknowledgments made from international organisations that promote and encourage the development of new horizons.

Soon new projects and products will appear in the market and we will be able to see new trends in the solar industry in 2019.

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