Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the 10 teams selected to advance to the final stage of the $3 million American-Made Solar Prize Round 4. The finalists will receive $100,000 in cash plus $75,000 in vouchers to redeem at DOE National Laboratories and other partner facilities.
The finalists were selected from 20 teams that presented their solar innovations to a panel of expert judges at a demonstration day hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. The teams are:
- AeroShield Materials (Hyde Park, MA): A flat-plate solar-thermal energy collector system with transparent aerogel insulation that operates at more than 150° Celsius with efficiencies greater than 60%.
- Cool Tech Solar (North Oaks, MN): A nano-textured heatsink material for the back of a solar panel to increase the surface area, helping dissipate heat and lowering the panel’s peak operating temperature.
- Energy for All (Elkridge, MD): A cell-level battery management and reconditioning device to reduce battery degradation and extend the life of new and recycled batteries by up to 30%.
- Hawai'i Innovation Laboratory (Honolulu, HI) : A room-temperature liquid metal alloy that can be spray-coated to make mirrors for concentrating solar-thermal power parabolic troughs.
- Nanospray (Brooklyn, NY): A highly conductive, spray-coated back contact for cadmium telluride solar panels, to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
- Pellucere Technologies (Houston, TX): A retrofittable, nanostructured silica shield for solar panels to prevent dirt buildup.
- Rocking Solar (Monroe, OH): A solar panel tracker system that tracks the sun using a rocking motion, reducing the weight of a PV system and the number of roof penetrations required for installation.
- Superclean Glass (Stony Brook, NY): An electro-dynamic shield that repels dust from solar panels and can save up to 98% of energy lost due to soiling.
- The R&D Lab (Petaluma, CA): A residential metal roofing product that matches the color of the roof to the solar panels and increases the speed of installation.
- Urban Energy (Brooklyn, NY): A rooftop solar-canopy racking system that avoids roof penetrations and can increase the system size to make it suitable for multi-family buildings.
Two winners will be determined at a demo day in September 2021. They will receive $500,000 in cash and up to $75,000 in vouchers to develop and test their prototypes. Read the SETO newsletters for updates on the next demo day, and learn more about the American-Made Solar Prize.