Dear Solar Prize competitors,
Thank you for your submission to the American-Made Solar Prize Ready! Contest and for your patience during the selection process. We’re excited that 20 teams have been selected as semifinalists and were announced this morning at Solar Power International in Salt Lake City. These teams are being contacted by the Solar Prize Team and are eligible to advance to the Set! and Go! Contests.
If you are not one of the semifinalists, we encourage you to keep innovating and looking for opportunities to improve your idea. There were numerous, impressive submissions to the Ready! Contest. In fact, there were more than 125 submissions from across the country. Many of these were great ideas but needed additional development and refinement to advance to the next level. In the coming weeks, you will receive an e-mail from the Prize Administrator with comments and feedback on your submission from the judges that reviewed it.
We want to thank all teams for competing in the Ready! Contest and hope you continue to be an active member of the Solar Prize community. Please continue to utilize the American-Made Network to improve your ideas and watch for other opportunities to make them a reality.
Should you have questions, please feel free to reach out at .
The Solar Prize Team
Solar Prize Ready! Contest Semifinalists
Here’s a brief description of the 20 semifinalists:
- Back-contacted silicon modules at the cost of PERC (Tempe, AZ) – This team is replacing high-cost copper conductive back-sheets with a much cheaper aluminum version.
- Locally Grown Power (Claremont, CA) – This solution eliminates reverse biasing of individual cells when modules undergo partial shading.
- Sunlight-Shaping Solar Panels (Seattle, WA) - This team is developing perovskite-based solar downconversion technology.
- Continuous Silicon Wafer Production (Pittsburgh, PA) – This team has pioneered a new approach to horizontal ribbon growth, leading to a reduction in cost of silicon wafers.
- Reliable and Low-Cost Passive Solar Tracker (Oxon Hill, MD) – This team is developing a low-cost passive solar tracking system uses the temperature difference of bimetallic coils for actuation
- Piranha Module Attachment System (Norman, OK) – The team developed a universal solution for a wide range of PV module attachment applications.
- Cost-Effective Commercial Solar (Mountain View, CA) – This team will make integrated solar panels and mounts for flat roofs which install 4 times faster and weigh half as much to optimize cost.
- Dirt Control, BiFacial reflect, Roads replacement (Austin, TX) – This team proposes an eco-friendly, cost-effective road coating that controls dust and dirt disruption on service roads and other high traffic locations near solar field installations.
- SolPavers – Elegant, Invisible, Low-cost, Safe Solar (New Braunfels, TX) – This team is transforming the patio paver into a sunlight permeable, high-strength, composite concrete and resin paver that produces power.
- Decorative Solar Tiles (Herndon, VA) - This team is designing attractive, decorative front contact patterns on solar cells, allowing for visually appealing solar surfaces.
- Micro-solar Manufacturing (Ashburn, VA) – This team is proposing a microsolar manufacturing system that cuts, assembles, and encapsulates small scale solar panels for small electronics solutions.
- Power Router for Distributing Solar in Communities (Vestal, NY) – This device is capable of acting as a controllable valve to “push and pull” specified amounts of real and reactive power between two distribution circuit feeds.
- Critical Network Infrastructure Support (Tucson, AZ) – This team is providing back-up power for pedestrian walk signals and other traffic and communications infrastructure.
- Zitara Battery Analytics (Oakland, CA) – This team is providing battery analytics for grid-scale and residential storage to improve safety and longevity.
- Solar-20Battery (Ann Arbor, MI) – This team is providing a solar home system that lasts 20 years without replacing any components by combining a solar charge controller and matching hardware where batteries last as long as the other components.
- Optimized Lithium Solar Storage Solution (Winston-Salem, NC) – Using repurposed automotive lithium batteries, this team is developing a scalable and efficient residential battery management and charging system.
- SIGUE. Smart Off-Grid PV Energy Management (Hudson, OH) – This team has developed a technology to smartly consume the energy produced by an off-grid (individual and microgrid) system and is working to adopt it to grid connected homes.
- The World’s Only Self-Installable Energy Storage System (Cody, WY) – This team provides an in-home energy storage unit that plugs into a standard wall outlet.
- >15kV Power Router (SST) DC Coupled Solar + Storage (Georgetown, TX) – This power router connects directly to the medium voltage grid, which eliminates the 60Hz transformer, breaker, switchgear, PTs, and CTs.
- CSP Trans-Critical Water Desalination (Pittsburgh, PA) – This team is creating a prototype for a trans-critical desaliniation system, targeting a providing a clean drinking water source.