The American-Made Solar Prize Round 3 teams have been working tirelessly over the past year preparing their technologies for the competition finale: Go! Demo Day. Since learning of their status as Round 3 finalists in July, these 10 teams have identified pilot test partners and used continual customer and stakeholder feedback to substantially advance their solutions from proof-of-concept to prototype.
Now, these innovators will present their products to a panel of expert reviewers one last time in the hopes of becoming a Round 3 winner.
Round 3 Go! Demo Day will take place on Dec. 3-4, 2020, in tandem with an industry networking event and Round 4 semifinalist announcement. This virtual format includes:
Thursday, Dec. 3: teams participate in a private Q&A session with a panel of expert reviewers.
Friday, Dec. 4: a solar professionals networking event, including the live Round 3 winner and Round 4 semifinalist announcements.
The Solar Prize team invites friends, family, peers, industry experts, and anyone interested in solar innovation to join the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Friday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m. ET for the virtual networking event and live winner announcement. Energy Department leadership will announce the two final winners of the Solar Prize Round 3, each earning $500,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers, as well as the Round 4 semifinalists.
Details on the Round 3 finalist teams and their technologies can be found below. View each team's video pitch, listed in alphabetical order. Contact information for each team is also available for those who are interested.
This team’s passive solar tracker enables panels to capture more solar energy without motors, controls, or external power. A small concentrating mirror system heats paraffin wax, which rotates the panels to track the sun when they’re properly positioned.
This team is developing a small, lightweight, low-cost PV system with battery storage that does not require technical expertise to install, making it suitable for transitional homes and emergency management response.
This team is developing a mobile solar array for farms that uses tractors mounted on pontoon skis to tow two digitally controlled single-axis solar trackers. The trackers follow the sun’s movement to capture sunlight on solar panels. The array’s mobility will help farmers rotate their cash crop and cover crop fields, improving soil health, income, and power generation.
Uplift Solar Corp.
Embedded, Multi-Function Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) for Smart Modules
This team is developing a chip that is both a direct-current converter and an MPPT that can be embedded in a module. It will have a microprocessor that enables power line communication, ensuring module compliance with code updates.
This team combines cost-effective hardware with secure, scalable software to deliver insights and increase operational efficiency for PV plants. This will result in predictive maintenance schedules that lower downtime, improve remote and automated diagnostics, and better model a plant’s lifetime energy yield.
Find out which two teams will become the final winners, each taking home $500,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers.