Solar + Power Awards is produced by Angel Business Communications - the organisers of the Solar Ireland, Smart Solar and Solar UK conferences. The awards ceremony will take place Brussels in September 2018.
Research and development programs are crucial to the photovoltaic industry’s growth since increased efficiency, improved durability and long-term quality improvements are essential to consumer and investor confidence. The development of high quality products that are easier to install and maintain also contribute to long-term vitality. This Award celebrates innovative research designed to create new products, services, and applications for residential, commercial and grid-scale PV systems.
The material requirements necessary for PV manufacturing are as diverse as they are technically impressive. Whether used for wafers, packaging or other PV/BOS components, manufacturers depend upon new advanced materials to improve performance and ensure long-term customer satisfaction. Materials must be delivered in a timely and secure manner while meeting stringent technical and manufacturing requirements. This Award is open to any materials that have enabled advancement in PV manufacturing.
Grid parity will be reached by manufacturing improvements as much as by market movements. This award recognises excellence for tools that improve yield in PV manufacturing by speeding throughput, increasing unit cell or PV panel output, reducing warranty claims/improving quality, reducing waste or otherwise improving customer satisfaction with end use products.
Once a manufacturer gathers his tools in a fab much remains to be done to ensure that products are manufactured efficiently and to high standards. Marketplace success depends on continuous quality improvements, support after the sale and a desire to continually look for ways to reduce waste, conserve resources and develop products that anticipate customer needs. This Award recognises excellence in processes that improve PV manufacturing yield and quality.
The design and efficiencies of silicon (c-Si) solar cells continue to steadily improve, creating significant opportunities across global markets. Improved efficiency, faster time to market and increased reliability have fueled growth and helped reduce PV panel costs more than 50 percent since 2008. With a multitude of methods showing promise and excellence, this Award recognises achievement in delivering high quality products that establish, support or exceed industry standards.
Thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology continues to advance. Modules based on various thin film technologies offer important benefits compared to c-Si cells including greater flexibility and fewer manufacturing steps. Even though conventional PV cell efficiencies are greater, research continues to advance thin film technology given its intrinsic benefits. This Award recognizes thin film PV advances including work to commercialize perovskite technology, roll-to-roll and other printed PV material efficacy and related technologies.
Energy management solutions deliver value especially when combined with smart meter, providing insight into home or large-scale photovoltaic (PV) system operations including reports of energy production and consumption. Advanced systems enable plant operators to automatically calculate and manage tariff-based feeds and time of use requirements. This Award recognizes solutions that offer plant owners actionable information, automated reports and compliance with local/regional tariffs.
The decentralized nature of photovoltaic (PV) power and other forms of renewable energy make them ideal for electrifying rural and isolated communities. Photovoltaic (PV) energy is readily scalable and less capital intensive compared to traditional generation/transmission infrastructure. Moving from residential-sized PV plants to community solar and mini grids can power neighborhoods, business parks and entire villages through distribution networks. This Award recognizes companies whose product(s) are empowering rural communities and creating access that was previously cost prohibitive.
With so much attention focused on the potential of renewable energy to reduce global warming it is sometimes easy to forget that a reason for developing solar power in the first place was to alleviate fuel poverty and provide energy independence to developing regions around the globe. About 1.5 billion people worldwide now live without access to electricity while even more have power only for a portion of each day or have resources priced beyond their means. This award recognizes companies that seek to empower rural communities by creating technology and services for electrification, transmission and storage in rural, remote and underdeveloped areas.
Photovoltaic (PV) plant infrastructure must be operated and maintained in such a fashion that it is not only functional, but delivers peak performance. Investors count on performance to justify their financial commitment just as power consumers need electricity that is not only dependable, but affordable. This Award recognizes excellence in plant operation and maintenance that delivers consistent value by balancing today’s needs with long-term serviceability and performance objectives.
Financing the growth of green energy continues to evolve along with its expanding global footprint. The rapid growth of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy owes its success not only to improving technology and a highly competitive supply chain, but also to investment funds focused on green energy. Government support programs can only go so far to encourage green power; long-term success requires private and public sector investment partnerships. This award recognizes investment opportunities and programs that have successfully promoted renewable energy, increased adoption, reduced risk and improved investment yields while supporting green technologies.
Continual performance improvement paired with substantial cost reductions have propelled substantial growth for energy storage systems. Photovoltaic (PV) plant owners are adding energy storage in record numbers. Smart energy storage enables the plant owner (manager) to shift production energy to the grid or retain it for self consumption, maximizing their return. This Award recognizes high efficiency storage in grid-scale systems that employ all battery types: lead acid, nickel metal hydride, lithium-ion, redox flow and so forth.
The modern electrical grid is a complicated engineering endeavor. Maintaining and improving performance requires ‘smart grid’ technology that provides multi-directional communications for monitoring and control. Operators now utilize smart sensors and actuators to effectively manage their systems and automatically recover from faults. The smart grid can also accommodate the infusion of renewable energy while it employs battery banks for load leveling and to deliver power during non-generating periods. This Award recognizes excellence in smart grid technology and practices that benefit operators and the consuming public.
This Award recognizes photovoltaic (PV) projects of all sizes that are installed directly on the ground utilizing conventional or custom mount systems whether the project is grid connected, sleeved or is a private-wire operation. A project’s timeline, location, and challenges to implementation all may affect its overall success and ability to meet its owners’ goals and the community’s needs.
Rooftop commercial solar projects have the potential for far-reaching benefits across communities since business and non-residential roofline areas represent previously untapped locations from which to generate renewable energy. This award applies to solar systems installed on the roofs of non-domestic properties, including commercial enterprises and public buildings.
Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors create a foundation for on-going photovoltaic (PV) power plant success. Every megawatt-scale photovoltaic (PV) project depends upon proper siting, equipment purchasing and installation balanced against the drive to meet commissioning goals on schedule. These massive projects must also conform to complicated local and national regulations. This Award recognizes EPC companies and contractors that go the extra mile, delivering greater value to their customers and investors under some of the most demanding circumstances.
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