The smarter E show: A wealth of innovations rewarded

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At yesterday’s smarter E Forum – which closed the first session of the three-day Intersolar Europe expo being held in Munich – awards were handed out to the top innovations in each of the trade show’s areas of focus.

Intersolar award

The Intersolar Award – being decided for the 11th time – was given to ABB for its PVS-175-TL inverter; to Hanwha Q Cells for its new Q.PEAK DUO G5 module; and to Krinner Solar, for its CAS² computer-aided solar structure.

Swiss power electronics specialist ABB’s product impressed the jury with innovations focused on limiting electrical losses as well as its high power density and versatile operating temperature range. Hanwha’s latest module innovation, meanwhile, was singled out for multiple advances that reduce electrical and optical losses in a combination that offers strong shading performance, mechanical stability and an impressive temperature coefficient. The third prizewinner, Krinner Solar, won recognition for an integrated hardware and software tool used for the design and planning of large scale PV plants. The product was chosen as representing an important step towards the digitalization of the energy world, as well as for simplifying the plant development process and for providing data for bank and insurance companies and operator requirements.

The smarter E award

As part of the trade show’s format for 2018 a new award was inaugurated at Wednesday’s forum, with two separate categories – Outstanding Projects and Smart Renewable Energy.

Three winners were recognized in each category, with a project award given to Bach Khoa Investment Development of Solar Energy Corporation (Solar BK), for its Solar Experience Space at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, in Vietnam. The project is a showcase of energy products developed by Vietnamese scientists, which was chosen for its potential to bring clean energy technology to society.

U.S. thin film giant First Solar was recognized for the extensive testing conducted at a 300 MW project in California which has proved large scale solar plants can provide valuable services to a regional grid. The jury was impressed by the project’s potential to prove the value of solar, and its ability to convince stakeholders and investors of renewables’ reliability.

An innovative agricultural project in Australia – developed by Unlimited Energy Australia and German commercial battery specialist Tesvolt – was also selected for its demonstration of integrated storage technologies and large scale energy independence. The project is an avocado farm, now operating entirely off-grid thanks to a 53 kW PV installation that combines 160 kWh of salt-water batteries and 48 kWh of lithium storage.

EES Award

The EES Award, in its fifth year, aims to recognize innovations in energy storage, and selected another three technologies as noteworthy. Prizes were given to SMA, for its storage inverter with grid-forming capabilities; to SOCOMEC’s Microgrid Energy Storage Solution; and to Dynapower Company, LLC., for its Dynapower DC power conversion system.

SMA’s new product impressed with its ability to develop and operate microgrids with a high penetration of renewables; SOCOMEC’s solution received recognition for the way it can maximize PV integration in a cost effective solution for an isolated area; and Dynapower’s innovation was chosen as one of the first providers of a solution for the integration of a utility-scale, DC-coupled solar-plus-storage project.