The Solar Prize Round 4 finalists are one step closer to competition completion! The competing teams submitted their last pitch videos showcasing the progress they’ve made since earning their finalist titles in April 2021. 

Here’s a recap of the technologies competing for $500,000 as a final winner: 

  • Team AeroShield Materials: This team is developing a flat-plate solar-thermal energy collector system that operates at more than 150 degrees Celsius with efficiencies greater than 60%. Transparent aerogel insulation enables this performance, minimizes heat loss, allows for simpler receiver design, and reduces cost.
  • Team Superclean Glass: This team’s self-cleaning technology uses an electro-dynamic shield to repel dust particles from solar panels. Creating a strong electric field can save up to 98% of PV energy loss caused by dust.
  • Team Pellucere Oregon State: This team’s silica shield’s nanostructure prevents the buildup of dirt and other particulates on solar panels to increase energy yield. By developing a robotic surface treatment and coating application process, the team can provide the shield as a retrofit solution.
  • Team NanoSpray: This team is developing a highly conductive, spray-coated back contact for cadmium telluride solar panels, to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
  • Team Rocking Solar: This tracker system is designed to reduce a PV system’s weight and number of required roof penetrations, so that more commercial and industrial rooftops can host a PV system. This system tracks the sun using a rocking motion, like a rocking chair, eliminating bearings and hinges from the support frame that require roof penetrations.
  • Team the r&d lab: This team is developing a roof designed for solar in order to scale rooftop solar massively by offering an affordable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing roof preferred by installers and owners.
  • Team Hawai’i Innovation Lab: This team’s room-temperature liquid metal alloy makes highly reflective films targeted for use in CSP parabolic troughs for industrial heat applications. Their process uses spray coating, which is easier and less expensive than existing methods for making mirrors.
  • Team Cool Tech Solar: This team is creating a solar panel with a nano-textured heatsink. The heatsink’s structure increases the surface area of the back of the solar panel, helping the panel dissipate heat and lowering its peak operating temperature. The lower temperature may make the solar panel last longer.
  • Team Urban Energy: This team has developed a rooftop solar-canopy racking system that avoids roof penetrations and maximizes the energy yield benefits by using bifacial modules. This application is targeted for multi-family buildings, which often do not have the roof space to accommodate existing solar solutions.

Watch all the finalist pitch videos ahead of the winner announcement on Thursday, Sept. 16, then register to attend the event!