On March 30, the U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory announced 10 Solar Prize Round 2 finalist teams. These teams were chosen for the considerable progress they’ve made since winning the Ready! Contest.
These 20 semifinalists participated in a virtual Round 2 Set! Demo Day on Friday, March 27. Prior to Set! Demo Day, teams submitted 4-minute video pitches, which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts and posted online for public view. During Set! Demo Day, each team had a 10-minute question-and-answer session with the panel of reviewers to further discuss their pitches and describe their innovations.
After careful deliberation, the reviewers selected 10 finalist teams, each of whom won $100,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers.
The Round 2 finalist teams are:
- Team Asoleyo Architectural Solar Cells, Asoleyo Architectural Solar: This team is designing front contact patterns on solar cells for visually appealing solar surfaces.
- Team Integrated Silicon Technologies, Continuous Silicon Wafer Production: This team is developing a low-cost manufacturing method for silicon wafers that involves melting the silicon, which floats as it solidifies, and slowly pulling a continuous, thin layer of it.
- Team Orison Inc., Orison Energy Storage Enables Solar: This team is developing an in-home energy storage unit that plugs into a standard wall outlet and can be charged using solar energy.
- Team Resilient Power Systems, >15kV Power Router (SST) DC Coupled Solar+Storage: This team is developing a power router to connect a medium-scale solar plant directly to the medium-voltage grid, reducing costs and eliminating equipment that is typically required.
- Team Solpaver, SolPavers-Elegant, Invisible, Low-Cost, Safe Solar: This team is transforming the patio paver into a sunlight-permeable, high-strength, composite concrete and resin paver that produces power and eliminates the need for additional mounting hardware.
- Team SunFlex Solar, Back-Contacted Silicon Modules at the Cost of PERC: This team is replacing high-cost copper back-sheets used in standard back-contacted silicon cells with lower-cost aluminum.
- Team Switched Source LLC, Phase-EQ for Distributing Solar in Communities: This team is developing a device—and software to control it—that will enable higher penetration of solar on distribution feeders without costly infrastructure upgrades.
- Team Taka Solar, Advanced Bifacial Panel: This team is creating an integrated solar panel and mount product for flat commercial rooftops that installs four times faster and weighs half as much as traditional installations.
- Team Terra Pave, Dirt Control, BiFacial Albedo, Roads Replacement: This team is creating an eco-friendly, cost-effective road coating that controls dust and dirt on high-traffic roads near solar field installations to reduce dirt and debris on panels, which lowers energy output.
- Team VesprSolar, V-Clip: Fast, Secure, Reliable PV Panel Attachment: This team is building a solar module attachment system with a spring-based clip that locks to secure the module while providing electrical bonding and wire management capabilities, which simplifies and lowers the cost of installation.
These 10 finalists will go on to compete in the final stage of the competition, the Go! Contest. Finalists will present their technologies one last time at Go! Demo Day in July 2020. Ultimately, only two final winners will be selected, each winning $500,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers to help them bring their technology to market.
Stay tuned to see who becomes the Round 2 final winners!