Intersolar in Munich, Germany, on 27-29 May 2009, awarded prizes to 6 companies in the categories "Photovoltaics" and "Solar Thermal Technology" for innovative ideas and solutions for the solar energy industry.
The award was presented in a ceremony at the trade show’s innovation exchange to four German and two international companies under the patronship of the German Minister of Economics and Technology, Dr. Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg.
The winners of the Intersolar AWARD were chosen by two independent juries, consisting of experts from the areas of PV and solar thermal technology respectively. Three equal winners were awarded prizes in each of the two categories. A total of 76 innovations were submitted as entries, 18 of which came from abroad. To qualify, the products and solutions had to be exhibited for the first time at Intersolar 2009 or undergone substantial changes and improvements.
Winners from the PV category
The photovoltaics jury selected three companies out of a total of 45 entries, 11 of which came from abroad, to be presented with the Intersolar AWARD. Werner Roth, scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg and member of the jury in the area of photovoltaics gave a speech in praise of the three winners.
One award was given to Aerowest GmbH from Dortmund, for their AeroSolar software, which produces high resolution aerial pictures. The programme can be used to calculate whether or not setting up a solar PV installation on a roof will be profitable without needing to actually visit the site. AeroSolar creates a 3D image of the roof surfaces and calculates the potential electricity yield of an installation, taking into account local conditions such as the duration of sunshine, shading from trees or other building parts.
The American company National Semiconductor Corp. received the Intersolar AWARD for their SolarMagic power optimiser, which minimises the energy losses of solar PV installations caused by environmental factors. The device considerably improves the energy yield of roof-mounted installations which are partly shaded by trees or chimneys, or which are covered by fallen leaves. The SolarMagic power optimiser offers home-owners great potential to open up new surfaces to PV modules, which have hitherto not been considered profitable.
Another Intersolar AWARD went to Berlin-based SOLON SE for the roof-integrated system SOLON Black 160/05, which completely replaces traditional roof tiles or roof coverings. SOLON’s complete system is easily mounted and also suitable for older roof constructions due to its lightness. The special feature of the SOLON Black 160/05 roof-integrated system is the attractive design, with completely black modules, black side panels and a black polyurethane frame.
Winners from the solar thermal technology category
In the “Solar Thermal Technology” category, a total of 31 products and services were entered, 8 of which came from abroad. In his congratulatory speech, jury member Prof. Klaus Vajen from the University of Kassel Institute for Thermal Energy Technology particularly stressed the selected products’ high degree of technical innovation.
The Australian-based NEP Solar Pty Ltd. was presented with the Intersolar AWARD for the parabolic trough system PolyTrough 1200, which uses polymer materials. Instead of the standard metal substructure, NEP Solar use low-cost, light polymer foam. The innovative reflector for concentrating solar thermal collectors impressed the jury because of the use of plastic materials, which still have a vast potential for use in the solar sector.
With its FlowCon Sensor, RESOL – Elektronische Regelungen GmbH has developed a control unit for solar systems which takes over complete control of the installation. When using the FlowCon sensor, there is no need for additional collector and storage sensors to guarantee the installation’s energy yield. Thanks to its sophisticated control algorithm, the control unit does not need to be installed by an expert, and boosts operational and yield safety for the entire installation.
Ritter Energie- und Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG was presented with the Intersolar AWARD for their Aqua Expresso system solution for space and domestic water heating systems. The combination storage system combines many state-of-the-art innovations in storage technology. The Aqua Expresso is characterised by extremely high energy efficiency in water heating, and was therefore praised by the jury as an innovative, consumer-friendly and economical solution.