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Intersolar: The 2010 Intersolar AWARD goes to...

This year’s Intersolar AWARD for innovation and improvements in solar power went to ABB Schweiz AG, Gehrlicher Solar AG, SMA Solar Technology AG, FSAVE Solartechnik GmbH, InvenSor GmbH, a research collaboration, Festo AG & Co. KG, GEMO-TEC Ltd, and Gebr. Schmid GmbH + Co.

This year, prizes were awarded in the fields of ‘Photovoltaics’, ‘Solar Thermal Technology’ and for the first time, ‘PV Production Technology’. Also for the first time this year, exhibitors of Intersolar North America were eligible to participate in addition to exhibitors at Intersolar Europe in Munich. As a result, participant numbers have increased to a total of 2300.


The solar photovoltaics (PV) jury presented three companies with the Intersolar AWARD:

Zurich based company ABB Schweiz AG specialises in reducing common losses in the production of solar power. It has developed an intelligent product for solar PV photovoltaic applications, the S800 high performance process system. The system ensures that unaffected strings continue to function normally and deliver yield in the event of a partial failure in a solar PV installation.

Gehrlicher Solar AG based in Neustadt and Dornbach, Germany, has developed a transportation and mounting system for large-scale solar PV modules. In the system, the entire process from manufacture to installation is linked together. The system guarantees the smooth transportation of up to 18 large solar PV modules, and a rail system (backrail solution) facilitates installation. The concept minimises assembly time, and thereby costs.

SMA Solar Technology AG of Niestetal, Germany, has been singled out for a central inverter. Its Sunny Central 800CP is a weatherproof single device with a nominal power output of 800 kVA. The high power output is enabled by an intelligent power management and ventilation concept. Furthermore, the system features an integrated monitoring unit (string monitoring) with self-learning error management. Installation is greatly simplified and transport costs reduced thanks to the inverter’s compact design.

Solar Thermal Technology

Through its FLEXSAVE heat buffer storage tank, FSAVE Solartechnik GmbH, based in Kassel, Germany, offers the opportunity to cover the heating needs of existing buildings using solar thermal technology. The modular, cubic design can be installed and accommodated in existing residential buildings with ease and facilitates a better use of space. Thanks to its 2200 litre storage volume, the unpressurised storage tank is suitable both for buffering solar heat and for use with solid fuel boilers. The use of new materials keeps manufacturing costs to a minimum.

An Intersolar AWARD was also presented to Berlin company InvenSor GmbH. Compared to conventional thermal refrigerators, the InvenSor Adsorption Refrigerator (LTC) can be operated with markedly lower temperatures. InvenSor uses zeolites in place of more commonly used silica gel to increase efficiency. In conjunction with broad flat plate collectors, power consumption can be reduced by over 70%. Pure water serves as an environmentally friendly refrigerant, and its use means that the environmental impact is low. Low power consumption and relatively low noise emissions also characterise the compact device.

The joint submission from the Institute for Building Construction and Design of the University of Stuttgart (structural design), Ritter Energie- und Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG (collector development), Hydro Building Systems GmbH (WICONA) (facade development) and Frener & Reifer Metallbau GmbH (facade construction), won an award for their new approach to facade integration for vacuum tubes. Joint development work between these collaborators resulted in the award-winning CPC Office/System WICONA facade collector, which meets future requirements for sustainable modern office buildings with glass facades. Architectural aspects such as transparency of the modules, room lighting, heat protection and solar protection are combined with the high efficiency of the collector in this product. Solar heat is made available for heating and cooling purposes at temperatures of up to 100°C.

PV Production Technology

Festo AG & Co. KG of Esslingen, Germany, received an award for its fast handling system, the High Speed H-Portal. The combination of a flat construction and low moving mass provides dynamics in the smallest possible space, thereby saving both energy and resources. At the heart of the device is a module (lifting and rotating module) which works particularly efficiently. This interaction manages to increase the efficacy of production.

Swiss company GEMO-TEC Ltd has been presented with the Intersolar AWARD for its module production concept, NICE Proces. The process represents an alternative to module encapsulation, operates with an airtight and moisture proof sealing technology and is entirely solder-free, making it environmentally friendly. By reducing production steps, it also enables clear reductions in manufacturing costs to be made.

Gebr. Schmid GmbH + Co., based in Freudenstadt, Germany, has also been singled out for its contact-free LTP 1500/Laser Transfer Printing metallisation process, the performance characteristics of which are comparable to standard screen printing procedures. The modular system concept enables easy integration into existing production lines and the technology used dispenses with solvent-based pastes and removes one of the drying stages.

Products and solutions eligible for submission which were to be exhibited for the first time at either Intersolar Europe or Intersolar North America in 2010, or which represent a significant refinement of a product compared to previous exhibition appearances. Submissions must have undergone trials or already be in industrial use.

It can be noted however, that despite the inclusion of Intersolar North America in the Intersolar AWARDS programme, all of the 2010 winners were German or Swiss.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling