Winners 2014

Silicon Innovation Award

Manz AG
PERC Production Solutions

Project Development Award


Power Clouds Project

Turnkey Supplier Award

Panasonic
End-to-end Solar Solution

Industry Development Award

Rexel
Solar Energeasy

Module Manufacturing Innovation Award

LG Electronics Deutschland GmbH
MonoX ACe

Rural Electrification Development Award

Phaesun GmbH
BOSS - Business Opportunities With Solar Systems

Solar Award for Excellence: Product

Unisim Compact Solar Simulator

Solar Award for Excellence: Company

First Solar

Solar Award for Excellence: Individual

Steve Andrews, CEO of SolarAid

PV Materials Enabling

The Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit

SOL9620 Series And SOL9621 Series

The SOL9620 Series and SOL9621 Series represent Heraeus’ latest pastes that enable cell manufacturers to further increase their c-Si cells’ conversion efficiencies to an industry-leading level and beyond. The development of these two products are for customers with slightly different LDE applications and processing; however both pastes provide superior cell efficiencies while lowering customers’ cost per watt.

The SOL9620 Series is outstanding for ultra-lightly doped emitters [ULDE], with surface doping concentrations down to 1xE20/cm3. The SOL9620 Series has demonstrated the highest performance during customer testing, particularly on monocrystalline wafers. Relative to the SOL9610 Series on 110 Ω/sq. monocrystalline wafers, the SOL9620 Series demonstrated an 80% reduction in contact resistance; approximately a 3mV increase in Voc; and up to 0.25% absolute efficiency gains. The unique chemistry of SOL9620 Series also enable the ability to be fired through different combination of passivation layers and at a relative lower peak temperature than standard firing temperatures. This is ideal for PERC applications.

The SOL9621 Series has demonstrated great results for regular emitter and LDE applications. When tested against Heraeus’ SOL9610 Series on 85 Ω/sq. multicrystalline wafers, customers experienced higher electrical performance: a 50% reduction in contact resistance; a 1 – 2 mV increase in Voc; and greater than 0.10% absolute efficiency gains. The SOL9621 Series provides customers with a flexible and robust process window, which aids in providing a lower manufacturing cost. SOL9621 is also highly recommended for the 1st and 2nd layer of double printing applications with customers confirmed efficiency gain greater than 0.10% over the best commercially available double printing pastes.

Thin Film Innovation Award

First Solar

Thin Film Module Technology

Since the company’s inception in 1999 First Solar has demonstrated thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) innovation.

Developed in the United States, First Solar now has the only thin-film module technology that is proven more efficient and less costly than conventional crystalline silicon (C-Si Photovoltaic)PV modules.

First Solar has dedicated research and development toward exponential innovation with multiple records for research cell efficiency increasing from 16.5% to today’s record 20.4% and improving module efficiencies year over year. First Solar currently holds the world record in CdTe research module 17% and research cell efficiency 20.4% using organic and acquired technology. First Solar has demonstrated repeated successful innovation cycles converting these historical technology developments by effectively scaling the advancements into more than 8GW of high volume production.

First Solar’s thin-film technology addresses the global issue of identifying an efficient cost effect and sustainable alternative energy source that competes with traditional energy sources today.

First Solar has lowered the cost of solar electricity by developing utility-scale PV solutions utilizing thin-film technology competitive with conventional energy sources. First Solar has achieved economies of scale through its innovative fully integrated manufacturing process which produces a thin-film PV module from a sheet of glass in less than 2.5 hours while using less energy water and semiconductor material than conventional crystalline PV’s production process. The semiconductor material used has the highest theoretical efficiency of any known PV material. Combined with the lowest inherent manufacturing costs CdTe presents the greatest opportunity for solar electricity to change the way the world is powered.

Superior spectral response in humid climates - Superior temperature coefficient in hot climates - Industry-leading long-term reliability and durability - Smallest carbon footprint - Lowest life-cycle water use - Fastest energy payback time

First Solar has executed an IP-based innovation strategy using both internal and acquired device technology and has combined it with unique manufacturing technology to achieve over a decade of documented improvements culminating in 17% record PV research module efficiency. First Solar has built on the success of core technology and invests heavily in accelerating research and development.

Silicon Innovation Award

Manz AG

PERC Production Solutions

To meet global market’s soaring demand for high-efficiency solar cells and lower manufacturing costs, Manz AG offers industry-leading solutions for crystalline solar-cell (cSi) production which yields high conversion efficiencies of up to 20.5%. The new-generation production technology deploys Manz's VCS 1200 vertical vacuum coating system to deposit dielectric passivation layers on the rear of cells, together with the firm's LAS 2400 laser ablation technology, enabling cell manufacturers to achieve large-scale production of high-efficiency cSi solar cells at lowest Cost of Ownership. The fully automated and maintenance-friendly tools boast a smaller footprint and improved efficiency over competitors' systems. They can be used for both mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells.

Manz offers customers the necessary equipment and processing technology to convert standard cell production lines to manufacture the higher-efficiency PERC cells. Manz's VCS 1200 system uses a completely new technology for vertical processing, with a throughput of 1,200 wafers/hour. Thanks to its powerful plasma source and a new carrier system, the coating process leaves no pin marks or flakes on the wafers – a problem of many competitors' systems. In addition, VCS 1200 enables single-side deposition of PECVD-layers without wrap-around of deposition on the other side. Manz's high performance PECVD process technology achieves optimum reproducibility and the industry's highest degree of cell efficiency and uniformity.

Alongside the VCS 1200 system, Manz's LAS 2400 laser ablation system provides a simple, precise and high-throughput solution for local contact opening of rear side passivation layers. Being a one-stop process, laser ablation offers the lowest cost of ownership for this step in cell production and offers safe wafer handling with the industry's lowest breakage rates.

VCS 1200 system

LAS 2400 laser ablation system

System Integration Award

skytron® energy GmbH

skylog® Data Logger System

skylog® is a powerful data acquisition system for large-scale photovoltaic power plants using high-performance industrial grade components. skylog® has been designed with robustness and versatility in mind. Furthermore skylog® is a highly modular system allowing a wide choice of applications.

Communicating with string and central inverters as well as measurement units like energy meters, weather sensors, etc., using any of the standard bus technologies (CAN, RS422, RS485, Ethernet, Modbus, SunSpec), skylog® can read and save one-minute data values from a variety of terminal devices, irrespective of make. skylog’s unmatched close connection path to the inverters is fully utilized by skytron’s comprehensive plant control algorithms especially for the unique frequency support by providing balancing power feature which uses a one second bidirectional data exchange to the PV plant’s actuating elements.

skylog’s integrated uninterruptable power supply (UPS) provides power to all other monitoring components supplied by the CAN bus cable, ensuring dependable operation even in the event of a power failure. In locations having unreliable internet connections, local data storage is secured up to 4 weeks by skylog®’s substantial data buffering capacity.

Besides skylog® is equipped with an industrial router. This allows the use of DSL, UMTS or satellite communication in order to forward current plant information to the plant supervision platform PVGuard® or to other performance analysis tools.

skylog® therefore forms an indispensable component as it is an elementary part of the skytron® real-time monitoring, control and supervision system for utility-scale PV installations.

PV Tool Award

InnoLas Solutions GmbH

ILM-2 Laser Machine

Increasing cell efficiency is the most effective way to reduce the cost of solar power, and PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact) is one of the technologies that meet the balance between manufacturing cost and efficiency.

InnoLas used its 15 years of experience in laser processing for the PV industry to design the cost effective ILM-2 production platform for lowest maintenance costs and best Cost of Ownership in the market. The ILM-2 platform is further optimized for easy integration into existing production lines and reduces handling steps if integrated e.g. via conveyor interface prior to a screen printer line or directly after a passivation tool. Alternatively, it can be combined with an InnoLas high speed automation system and operated as a stand-alone tool. The output can be adjusted between 1,600 and 3,600 wafers per hour at an excellent uptime of >96%.

InnoLas Solutions sees increasing demand for PERC solutions that can be adapted flexibly to current and future production line designs and requirements. The company designed the ILM-2 as a modular machine concept that can be used as a stand-alone or in-line system, with the option to use different laser sources. The ILM-2 offers our customers a future-proof 24/7 production solution with an excellent uptime.

This high volume production machine to open the passivation coating of PERC cells by a laser lift off process.

A local BSF and rear contacts are formed by controlling the interaction of the laser beam and the Si material at high process speed. The optimized laser and optical parameters of the system together with a new innovative dash pattern layout lead to a higher efficiency of solar cells compared to state of the art PERC process schemes.

Previous laser processes suffered from low throughputs and high cost due to limited process speeds as well as imperfect passivation layer openings.

The ILM-2 comprises an improved laser and optical setup which allows perfect control of the contact opening at the highest process speed. It enables a dashed line pattern layout enhancing the cell efficiency.

For the first time a novel dashed line pattern layout was enabled at high process speed. Such the cell efficiency can be increased at lowest cost of ownership.

A new high volume production machine to open the passivation coating of PERC cells by a laser lift off process. A local BSF and rear contacts are formed by controlling the interaction of the laser beam and the Si material at high process speed. The optimized laser and optical parameters of the system together with a new innovative dash pattern layout lead to a higher efficiency of solar cells compared to state of the art PERC process schemes.

For the first time a novel dashed line pattern layout was enabled at high process speed. Such the cell efficiency can be increased at lowest cost of ownership.

PV Process Award

Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS)

Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS) is an enhanced wire winding system uniquely designed and available for Meyer Burger diamond wire saws. The DWMS is marketed under the name of DW288 as an integrated option of the successful DW288 platform for mono and multi silicone wafering in the PV industry. During cutting the wire is wound and unwound on spools on each side of the wire web respectively. Without DWMS the aggressive wire is wound directly onto the storage spool on overlapping windings and can therefore damage itself. The innovative DWMS design separates the spool into a supplier (storage part and a working part. On the working part the wire is wound in non-overlapping windings with a minimal pitch. This completely eliminates wire to wire contact and keeps the wire sharp.

Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS completely eliminates wire to wire contact and therefore maintains the critical sharpness of the wire. The DWMS extends the lifetime of the diamond wire because it eliminates the wear of the diamond wire which only occurs in the work piece itself. As a consequence the wire consumption which is the most important cost driver within the wafer slicing process is lowered tremendously.

The wire winding system of the diamond wire saws is enhanced by dividing the spools on both sides of the wire web into a supplier (storage and a working part. Before starting the cutting/pilgrim mode fresh diamond wire is transferred from the storage part via the wire web onto the working part of the spool (on the wire supplying side of the web. During the wafering process itself the wire is wound back and forth in non-overlapping windings without wire to wire contact.

The wire management systems of all wire saw suppliers are direct derivatives of wire management systems for slurry based cutting. Wires for slurry based systems are non-aggressive bare wires. Such wires can be wound and unwound onto conventional spools in overlapping windings with no harm occurring to the wire itself. With the DIAMOND WIRE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (DWMS) wire to wire contact is avoided and the diamond wire wears only in contact with the silicon it is cutting. The Diamond Wire Management System (DWMS) is the first wire management system developed for the specific requirements of diamond wire based wafering.

PV Balance of System

VarioString: Isolated Dual Channel High Voltage MPPT

VarioString is a high power, isolated, dual channel MPPT solar charge controller for off-grid systems and battery based energy management systems up to 105kW. It is compatible with all battery technologies (lead-acid, lithium-ion, NiCd, etc.) due to its programming options for the charge cycle. Its fast and accurate algorithm ensures an MPPT efficiency of more than 99%. The ability to arrange the dual MPPT inputs independently or in parallel (with max 600Voc) or in series (with max 900Voc) allows the VarioString to be used in a wide variety of PV configurations. While battery based MPPT solar charge controllers are typically used for off-grid applications, increasingly the DC-coupling of PV is used in battery based energy management systems with connection to the grid to increase system stability and system efficiency for energy consumed when the sun is not shining.

The VarioString responds to the need to decrease BOS costs, increase flexibility and modularity of BOS components and at the same time increases system performance and overall energy yield.

The VarioString has been designed to meet the needs of battery based management systems. The high voltage DC input allows for longer strings of PV modules, much like is common with standard grid-tie inverters, which decreases the BOS costs and greatly simplifies installation. The fully programmable 4-step battery charger extends the life of batteries which reduces O&M costs and the amount of batteries being disposed of. The VarioString makes it possible to create flexible residential PV systems with only one device. Studer had the forethought to create a product with high power and high efficiency for different PV arrays.

The VarioString allows for up to 900 Vdc maximum open circuit voltage with the dual MPPT inputs in series, which is the highest PV voltage allowable of any device in its class.

The VarioString responds to the toughest requirements in efficiency in solar installations. It also reduces the system costs by accepting PV strings up to 600 or 900Vdc. This allows for a more simple installation and reduces the installation time and material costs: reduction in cable cross-section and length, absence of junction box and string fuses.

  • Highest efficiency in class (>98%)
  • Simplified safety rules by full isolation between PV and battery and between MPPT inputs
  • Flexible PV configuration: independent or parallel (600Voc), or series (900Voc)
  • 7kW per unit and up to 15 in parallel for 105kW total PV power
  • Low self-consumption: <1,2W in night mode
  • Multi-step charger that is fully programmable for longer battery life
  • Optimal usage in an Xtender system with synchronized battery management between VarioString and Xtender inverter/charger
  • Remote monitoring and datalogging via Internet support.
  • Web access through Xcom-LAN or Xcom-GSM (optional)
  • Reduces BOS costs (eliminates expensive wiring for parallel strings, saving wires, connectors, junction boxes, fuses, space, time, etc.)
  • Isolation between the PV and battery allow for the use of any type of PV module (including some that require PV+ grounding to prevent Potential Induced Degradation (PID)) and non-standard battery grounding such as is sometimes required in telecommunication systems. In addition, isolation makes PV module reverse current impossible, therefore a disconnection relay is unnecessary.

The VarioString contains dual MPPT inputs for a total flexibility in PV array configuration (in series, in parallel or independent). It allows for up to 900 Vdc maximum open circuit voltage with the dual MPPT inputs in series, which is the highest PV voltage allowable of any device in its class. The VarioString has 120A max battery charge current. It has the capability of connecting up to 15 PV panels in parallel on the same battery bank for a total PV array capacity of up to 105 kWp. The full isolation between PV and battery allows for any grounding scheme.

Energy Usage Enabling Award

SolarEdge Technology

Smart Energy Management Solution

The SolarEdge Smart Energy Management solution includes a feed-in limitation feature that enables PV system owners to maximize self-consumption while maintaining compliance with local grid regulations and installation standards.

The average size of a PV system is trending upward allowing owners to minimize grid consumption throughout the day. However this boom in PV generation has also altered the structure of grid operations prompting a number of countries to put in place regulations that limit the amount of PV power that can be delivered to the grid – some have even banned PV systems from feeding into the grid altogether. In many cases customers cannot justify the economics of a PV system purely for self-consumption or are forced to reduce the size of their desired system to avoid exceeding the local feed-in limit.

By enabling customers to dynamically manage the amount of PV power produced so that the power fed into the grid never exceeds the limit the SolarEdge feed-in limitation unlocks a new level of operational flexibility for system owners. SolarEdge’s feed-in limitation is integrated directly into the inverter firmware ensuring it maintains the output power limit set forth by the utility at all times.

What is particularly novel or noteworthy about the product / process or innovation?

For the first time PV system owners can easily maximize self-consumption when loads are high then feed into the grid when the loads are low without violating local regulations and procedures.

SolarEdge’s feed-in limitation feature dynamically adjusts PV power production ensuring that power output to the grid does not exceed the pre-set limit thus enabling larger installations and increasing the potential of PV power for self-consumption. The feed-in limitation feature quickly and precisely adjusts PV power output to the grid even during rapid changes in load consumption and power production.

SolarEdge’s Smart Energy Management system can be easily retrofitted into previously installed SolarEdge inverters and is fully compatible with both single- and multi-inverter systems.

Project Development Award

Power Clouds Project

Power Clouds Pte Ltd introduces an innovative solution for the development of photovoltaic through the direct and bottom-up involvement of the people. Anyone is free to buy a solar panel (Power Units and rent it out to the company contributing to the production of green energy that protects the planet. The same company carries out the plants and ensure through an extensive network of activities including energy production a fixed monthly income for 20 years for those who take part in the project.

The concept behind Power Clouds is seen as an alternative to traditional financing ways for the photovoltaic stations construction and at the same time leads to the direct involvement of a large number of people (40000 participants in the first year.

Through the collective participation the project redistribute equitably costs and gains on the participants related to the development of solar projects and makes people protagonists of the climate change challenge

We are the only company which develops and manufactures large photovoltaic projects involving ordinary people who care for the environment and through the initiative they are able to get a fair economic benefit.

The projects cornerstone is the Power Clouds innovative vision of the developments possibilities of the photovoltaic systems. Ordinary people from all over the world are directly involved buying a solar panel (Power Unit and give it for rent to the Company. The latter plans design and build large photovoltaic plants (ground localizing them where the economic environmental and social issues are more favourable for the purpose of achieving results.

The new Power Clouds conceptual proposal arises as a viable alternative to traditional financing ways for the construction of photovoltaic stations. Power Clouds at the same time contributes to spread renewable energy in the world.

Turnkey Supplier Award

Panasonic

End-to-end Solar Solution

There’s no question about it studies have proven most Americans agree that renewable energy is crucial to our future. In addition while electricity rates across the country continue to increase solar panels become more affordable and viable than ever. Yet at a time when green technology is gaining popularity and prices are decreasing many remain hesitant to take the first step toward solar energy fearing a complex time consuming and expensive process awaits. To avoid the headache of dealing with multiple vendors sustainability officers facility owners developers and power purchasers can simply join forces with a trusted partner – Panasonic Eco Solutions. Panasonic has developed a comprehensive integrated end-to-end solution that brings solar projects from concept and finance to installation and maintenance under one roof simplifying the process of going solar. As a “one stop shop” for going solar this solution helps organizations attain renewable energy – effectively and efficiently.

Traditional solar models often require the involvement of different third-party vendors at each phase of development. From the start facility managers and Sustainability Officers must engage with one firm for concept another for financing yet another for installation and the list goes on. Partnering with multiple vendors causes solar projects to become disjointed and inefficient resulting in cost increases missed deadlines and frustration. In addition dealing with multiple contracts production guarantees and product warranties can cause worry about reputation and brand image.

Sustainability officers facility owners developers and power purchasers don’t have to be burdened by the aggravation of dealing with multiple parties at each step of the solar process. The Panasonic Eco team facilitates solar projects at every phase of development streamlining the entire process and serving as a viable strategic partnership for a wide range of organizations. With Panasonic’s comprehensive integrated turnkey model organizations ensure solar success avoid unnecessary stress and save time and money. For a wide range of organizations Panasonic provides the solution they need to fulfill social responsibility goals and reduce utility costs.

We are the only company to bring all phases of solar project development from finance to design installation to maintenance under one roof backed by a production guarantee. And because of its reputation of reliability and financial stability Panasonic alleviates a customer’s worries about dealing with multiple vendors of questionable reliability stability and ability to cooperate with one another to complete projects on schedule and on budget.

Industry Development Award

Rexel

Solar Energeasy

Solar Energeasy is a global program launched by Rexel to raise awareness and understanding of solar PV and make the installation of solar panels hassle-free for both the consumer and the electrical installer via a user-friendly online platform adapted to smartphones and tablets.

For the first time consumers also have a guarantee on the generation potential of their installation and the assurance that if the difference in the real energy output of the PV installation is more than 10% below the original estimate within the first 5 years, Rexel will pay them back the difference. This is not only reassuring for the customer but also provides a compelling sales argument for the electrical installer. The consumer portal of the Solar Energeasy platform allows consumers to simulate the generation potential of their future installation online, translate it into revenue, calculate their CO2 emission savings and even find the equivalent in the number of trees planted. They can also use the site to find a trustworthy installer close to home and request a quote online. Through the professional portal electrical installers can also make clients aware of dedicated financing solutions that have been made available via Rexel’s trusted financing partner as well as offer additional services such as the cleaning and maintenance of solar panels. These additional services allow installers to offer an end-to-end comprehensive package to their clients making the installation of solar ‘easy’. Installers who subscribe to the platform are added to a Solar Energeasy database to receive requests for quotation from potential customers living in their local area. They also have access to e-learning modules keeping them up-to-date on the latest techniques and are provided with administrative assistance to help them manage the complete process.

Why is this solution needed?

Confidence in the industry has yo-yoed in recent years. Energy prices have been rising but they are still not high enough to compensate for the drop-off in solar PV subsidies in many markets and awareness of solar PV, its suitability over other renewable/energy saving solutions and the financial help available to consumers remains low. Unfortunately, stories of poorly installed solar panels and inferior quality solar panels have also been detrimental to the industry at large and the upfront cost is still a barrier to entry particularly when the return on investment is not known or not explained very well. Yet, we had seen first-hand the difference that solar can make not only in terms of energy generated but also in terms of changing attitudes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that occupants of a building where solar PV has been installed manage their energy consumption more responsibly than before the installation took place.

Another barrier is the lack of awareness and knowledge among consumers, leading them to the conviction that solar PV is not for them. Without really knowing the answer, some consumers will assume their roof is not suitable or that the cost of solar is prohibitive, they may be unaware of the financial incentives available to them, while others may have heard horror stories about poorly fitted installations and cowboy installers.

Why is this solution different?

With Solar Energeasy, for the first time ever, consumers have a guarantee on the energy generation potential of their installation - or their money back! - creating confidence in the sector. The online portal also makes solar energy ‘easy’ to understand for the consumer answering questions such as: Is my rooftop suitable? How much energy will my solar installation generate? What does this mean in CO2 emissions? Where can i find a trusted installer local to me? It also offers installers the tools to provide a complete end-to-end package that includes financing solutions, cleaning and maintenance as well as a guarantee on the generation potential of their client’s installation. The solution also gives consumers access to a bone fide list of professional installers that have been vetted by Rexel.

This is the first time a company is offering an end-to-end Solar PV package for both the installer and the consumer through an extremely user friendly and intuitive online platform, bringing both the installer and consumer a user experience more often associated with purely consumer-facing retail brands. This is the Apple IPhone equivalent of a solar installation package!

Why is Rexel behind this solution?

Rexel has been a distributer of quality Solar PV panels from a range of leading European and international manufacturers for many years. However, in recognition of our unique position in the market between the manufacturers on the one hand and electrical installers on the other, we have been evolving from the traditional “box moving” model to that of an energy solutions provider. This means that today not only do we have the capability to sell a wide range of innovative products but as the “ears” of the industry we are also able to better understand what installers and the end-user want and tailor solutions to their needs. We decided to launch Solar Energeasy because we recognized the potential for growth in solar PV and we were acutely aware of the need for a solution that would boost confidence in the industry among both installers and end-users.

By creating a solar ecosystem that packs all the advantages of solar into a single neat online offering for both the end-user and the installer, we believe Solar Energeasy has the potential to do just that. However, having a user friendly platform was not enough and we decided that if we really wanted to create confidence in the industry we had to put our money where our mouth is and offer a guarantee in the form of compensation if the Solar PV offering did not do “what it said on the tin”. This to our knowledge has never been offered before, but as distributers with access to the latest innovations in solar PV from a wide variety of manufacturers and an unwavering conviction in the quality of the solar panels they supply, we knew the solar panels we offer will perform well. We also believe that our installer and consumer platform is among the most intuitive and comprehensive solar PV platforms today and our database of bone fide professional contractors will give consumers the confidence that their solar PV installation is in safe hands.

We launched Solar Energeasy in Belgium in June with planned roll-outs in both the UK and the Netherlands in October and the potential for further roll-outs across the other 38 countries in which Rexel has a presence. Visit the Belgian website: http://www.solar-energeasy.com/be/fr

Module Manufacturing Innovation Award

LG Electronics Deutschland GmbH

MonoX ACe

The MonoX ACe from LG Electronics is a breakthrough by combining solar module and inverter for an alternating current (AC) power output (220 V). 1. The high-efficiency solar module rated 300 W has included an inverter/micro-inverter which is permanently installed at the back side of the module. This inverter directly converts the direct-current (DC) power from the solar module into alternating current (AC) power. 2. With the inverter on the backside the known junction box with the bypass diodes is also included and can be saved in production. 3. The usual installation of an external micro-inverter is not necessary any more as it is already integrated in the junction box of LG’s AC module

The innovative approach of the new LG Electronics AC Solar Module differentiates in 3 topics. a) For the string inverter design the solar module with the lowest current determines the performance of the string. With the micro-inverter each solar module contributes its own maximum performance to the system. b) With the micro-inverter there is no need to spend material, costs, and time to install the individual inverter for the module as it is already permanently installed at the module. c) The micro-inverter of the LG Electronics AC Solar Module can deliver from the DC input power (280 W) the same amount of AC output power (280 W), the world best output power. d) LG Electronics provides the total solution (i.e. module + integrated microinverter) and fully warrants the total system. This reduces purchasing complexity for LG Electronics customers as a “one stop shop.

Rural Electrification Development Award

Phaesun GmbH

BOSS - Business Opportunities With Solar Systems

Off-Grid solar power systems can be an important factor to support rural development in areas that are not connected to the electricity grid. Most projects and concepts for rural electrification target the basic infrastructure needs such as the electrification of hospitals schools local administrations and private households. But the commercial sector is another very important area of activity since prospering commercial activities are essential for the economic development of rural communities and therefore also contribute to social development.

Common names for energy solutions for the commercial sector are productive use of energy or Business Opportunities with Solar Systems (BOSS. As a system integrator the company Phaesun in cooperation with local partners and component manufacturer is developing and implementing different complete solar kits that can be used for income generation in rural non-electrified areas. These solar powered systems for commercial use range from solar powered systems for daily services such as hair cutting TV and cinema mobile phone charging cooling and freezing of food and drinks to food processing such as juice squeezing and grain milling.

Services in rural areas in developing countries are often poorly developed due to the lack of electricity access. The processing trade is often concentrated on urban areas. Off-Grid solar power systems offer a unique opportunity to implement new services in non-electrified rural areas and ensure that further process units will remain in the hands of locals.

These are examples how Phaesun BOSS-Kits are used: Solar phone charging station to enable shop-owners to recharge mobile phones for a fee in areas without grid power= Income for the shop owner. Savings in time and money for mobile phone owners. Solar refrigeration kit to offer cool drinks and to preserve food at grocery stores restaurants etc= Additional income for the entrepreneur and better service for customers. Solar grain mill to mill the grain at the place of production = Higher margin for farmers. By combining many different off-grid solar systems a solar market place can be created that can influence the daily life and prosper of entire communities.

The concept only makes sense if the technical solutions are designed with high quality components and are well adjusted to local needs and climatic conditions. Therefore Phaesun cooperates with local partners in the target areas on the one side for the adjustment of the sets and with component manufacturers on the other hand to select and apply the best fitting components. Phaesun brings in its expertise in the design of complete Off-Grid PV Kits including all components such as high quality solar modules batteries and electronics in combination with the most efficient loads.

The BOSS concept includes a range of different somplete yolar systems for income generation that is being extended continously. IN the following part we describe three single BOSS-systems. The further development of the BOSS concept is the creation of a Solar Market Place. By combining many different off-grid solar systems a solar market place can be created that can influence the daily life and prosper of entire communities. The BOSS Phone Charging Station enables shop-owners to recharge mobile phones for a fee in areas without grid power. 18 plugs make it possible to charge 18 mobile phones at the same time. Optionally an inverter could be integrated to supply an AC-plug. PV-modules recharge the system - the integrated battery makes business activities independent from daytime and weather. Plugs electronics and battery are integrated into one enclosure. The BOSS Refrigeration Kits are the best solution for reliable cooling or freezing needs far from the electricity grid. These kits include the solar fridge Steca PF 166 as well as the entire equipment for charging and installation material. The kits are best suitable for the use in grocery stores restaurants etc. The BOSS Grain Mill is ideal for the milling of all cereals and maize. The milling stones are made out of granite and can be adjusted which makes it possible to produce various meal qualities out of all common types of cereals. The mill is available as complete kit with high efficient AC motor directly served by a solar generator via a control unit.

Rural electrification concepts normally focus the energy supply for private households and public institutions. The Phaesun BOSS-solutions target specifically the commercial sector in non-electrified areas. Single BOSS solutions serve to develop businesses of single entrepreneurs generate income for families and offer jobs independent from an existing infrastructure. Therefore rural development is started from the commercial sector. By offering income sources to people in rural areas the purchasing power can be increased and the value added stays in the rural communities. The combination of several BOSS systems on a village square can influence the development of the commercial and social sectors of entire communities! Daily live in many communities concentrates on village squares. The more opportunities are offered for commercial activities leisure activities and festivities the more lively becomes the village square while the quality of life in rural areas is improved at the same time. Solar power can make a significant contribution to change the village square into the vivacious living centre of a community for activities by day and by night. 

Solar Award for Excellence: Product

TS-Space

Unisim Compact Solar Simulator

The 'Unisim Compact' solar simulator provides the close-match spectra of our standard dual source 'Unisim' solar simulators in a low cost and compact form for bench top applications. The system provides a stand-alone instrument including front panel controls, a complete IV measurement system as well as a pneumatically controlled shutter and enclosure mechanism for easy, tool-less maintenance. This instrument is the first of its kind, allowing a whole group of researchers, who were previously limited to basic instruments, access to a high quality solar simulator to advance their research.

With high efficiency multi junction solar cells requiring a close match spectrum in order to achieve the most accurate calibration and results some research laboratories have been forced to use crude single source instruments for small scale research applications where only a relatively small beam size is required. Many research groups are also limited by physical floor space or budget which means our larger solar simulators such as our standard Unisim range are not an option. The Unisim Compact makes the world leading close-match spectrum which TS-Space Systems is known for available in a bench top form and at a low cost whilst retaining all the salient features our customers love about our standard Unisim range. This opens up a world class instrument to a range of researchers who were previously limited to basic single source simulators.

The Unisim Compact comes as a stand alone instrument with a full IV measurement system and built-in source meter. The dual source optics features our pioneering highly stable metal halide arc lamp and standard quartz halogen lamps which can be controlled and shuttered via the front panel. An intensity indicator is also built into the system in order to monitor lamp light levels. The easy maintenance of the lamps and optics is aided by a pneumatically controlled enclosure lift mechanism providing full 360 degree access to the simulator optics without any tools or physical effort. The system is also designed to take additional drop-in filter units which quickly and easily convert the close-match AM0 spectrum to AM1.5. We are the first and only company to produce not only a dual source solar simulator of this type but also in a form factor suited to smaller laboratory applications.

The requirement of a close-match spectrum for accurate measurement of multi junction solar cells is well known [1]. TS-Space Systems has pioneered not only the close-match multi source solar simulator, but the first ever quad-source solar simulator [2] and the use of metal halide arc sources for a highly stable, continuous beam. The previously award winning 'Unisim' range of solar simulators is used in both research and development work as well as 24/7 production facilities and are regularly cited in the latest photovoltaic research literature. The 'Unisim Compact' takes the salient features of these proven and popular simulators and packs them into a convenient bench top form factor for use in University or small research applications. The pneumatically operated, easy-maintenance enclosure houses a dual source, 2-zone solar simulator which combines metal halide and incandescent sources via a proprietary filter system to give an AM0 close-match spectrum (AM1.5 drop-in filter sets are available). The standard system includes an embedded source meter with complete IV measurement system (Computer, comms interface, IV software, MS Excel), relative irradiance indicator for monitoring lamp intensity and a pneumatic shutter. [1] Wilkinson, V. A.; Goodbody, C.; Williams, W. G., "Measurement of multijunction cells under close-match conditions," Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 1997., Conference Record of the Twenty-Sixth IEEE , vol., no., pp.947,950, 29 Sep-3 Oct 1997 doi: 10.1109/PVSC.1997.654244 [2] Montgomery, Kyle H.; Wilt, David M.; Howard, Alex; Williams, Bill; Williams, Bill; , "Characterization of a TS-Space quad-source solar simulator," Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2012 38th IEEE , vol., no., pp.001517-001522, 3-8 June 2012

Solar Award for Excellence: Company

First Solar

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions that are truly Taking Energy Forward. With over 9 gigawatts (GW) installed worldwide, proven solar solutions diversify the energy portfolio and reduce the risk of fuel-price volatility while delivering a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) that is cost competitive with fossil fuels today.

By integrating technologies and expertise across the entire solar value chain, First Solar delivers bankable PV energy solutions that maximize the value of our customers’ PV investment while minimizing their risk. Having developed, financed, engineered, constructed, and operating some of the world’s largest and most successful PV power plants in existence, First Solar has become the partner of choice for customers globally.

First Solar’s leadership in renewable energy is a result of expertise and nearly 15-year track record of manufacturing, developing, financing, engineering, constructing, and operating the world’s leading sources of sustainable, solar energy.

 


Key Dates

Nominations open 1st March 2016
Nominations close 6th May 2016
Voting opens 19th May 2016
Voting closes 14th June 2016
Winners informed 15th June 2016
Awards ceremony 22nd June 2016