The American-Made Solar Prize Round 3 teams have been working hard over the past few months preparing to pitch their technology at Set! Demo Day. Since learning of their status as Round 3 semifinalists, these 20 teams have been designing, testing, refining, and building their prototypes, and preparing their business models.
Round 3 Set! Demo Day will take place on July 9-10, 2020, in a virtual format. This virtual format includes:
A video pitch from each of the 20 teams
A private Q&A session between each team and a panel of expert reviewers
A live finalist announcement, taking place on Friday, July 10, 2020.
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, July 10, at 1:00 p.m. ET for the live finalist announcement. Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus, director of the Solar Office, will announce which 10 teams advance to the final phase of competition, each earning $100,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers.
Details on each Round 3 team and their technology can be found below. View each team's video pitch, listed in the order in which they will be participating in the private Q&A sessions. Contact information for each team is also available for those who are interested.
teams listed by Q&A order
Beyond Monitoring – Next Gen Software and Hardware
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.
To provide options for energy production on infrequently used surfaces like driveways and parking lots, this team designed a portable system in which solar panels rise out of a storage container and retract when the land is needed for other uses.
This team’s wet-etching process creates nanostructures on the front of solar panel glass, providing enhanced antireflection, anti-soiling, and self-cleaning functions for PV panels. Corning, a company specializing in glass and other materials, will help the team develop the process and demonstrate the durability of the textured glass.
This team is developing a universal monitor for residential PV systems that communicates with any microinverter, giving installers flexibility during installation or over the lifetime of the PV system.
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 a veteran-owned business that’s developing a sealed-enclosure, whole-home transfer switch for inverters as a cheaper, simpler alternative to typical emergency power backup panels. The team will also implement standardized communication protocols so utilities can interact with the inverters.
CraftStrom USA Limited
Democratizing Solar with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Energy Management
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.
This team has developed a contactless imaging tool that detects water in solar modules. The tool can be used as both a static measurement device during the manufacturing process and a mobile measurement device for field monitoring.
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.
Shine Technologies LLC
JuiceBox: Integrated Solar Electricity for Americans Transitioning out of Homelessness and Recovering from Natural Disasters
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.