Round 3 Set! Demo Day

The American-Made Solar Prize Round 3 teams have been working hard over the past few months preparing to pitch their technology at Set! Demo Day. Since learning of their status as Round 3 semifinalists, these 20 teams have been designing, testing, refining, and building their prototypes, and preparing their business models.

Round 3 Set! Demo Day will take place on July 9-10, 2020, in a virtual format. This virtual format includes:

  • A video pitch from each of the 20 teams
  • A private Q&A session between each team and a panel of expert reviewers
  • A live finalist announcement, taking place on Friday, July 10, 2020.

The Solar Prize team invites friends, family, peers, industry experts, and anyone interested in solar innovation to join the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Friday, July 10, at 1:00 p.m. ET for the live finalist announcement. Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus, director of the Solar Office, will announce which 10 teams advance to the final phase of competition, each earning $100,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers.

You won’t want to miss this exciting event!

Team Profiles and Video Pitches

Details on each Round 3 team and their technology can be found below. View each team's video pitch, listed in the order in which they will be participating in the private Q&A sessions. Contact information for each team is also available for those who are interested.

teams listed by Q&A order

Team: Wattch Inc.
Technology: Beyond Monitoring – Next Gen Software and Hardware
Location: Atlanta, GA
Contact: Alex Nussey of Wattch
Project Summary: This team combines cost-effective hardware with secure, scalable software to deliver insights and increase operational efficiency for PV plants. This will result in predictive maintenance schedules that lower downtime, improve remote and automated diagnostics, and better model a plant’s lifetime energy yield.
Pitch Video:
Team: Rise Energy Systems LLC
Technology: Remotely Deployed Solar Arrays
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Contact: Matthew Miller of Rise Energy Systems
Project Summary: To provide options for energy production on infrequently used surfaces like driveways and parking lots, this team designed a portable system in which solar panels rise out of a storage container and retract when the land is needed for other uses.
Pitch Video:
Team: Enertronics Inc.
Technology: Low-Cost Parallel-Connected DC Power Optimizer
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Contact: Dan Collins of Enertronics
Project Summary: This team is developing a high-voltage, direct current (DC) power optimizer small enough to be built into a module junction box.
Pitch Video:
Team: Corning Inc.
Technology: Durable Antireflective and Self-Cleaning Glass
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: Dr. Carl E. Crossland of Corning Inc.
Project Summary: This team’s wet-etching process creates nanostructures on the front of solar panel glass, providing enhanced antireflection, anti-soiling, and self-cleaning functions for PV panels. Corning, a company specializing in glass and other materials, will help the team develop the process and demonstrate the durability of the textured glass.
Pitch Video:
Team: AC Diode
Technology: Allbrand Solar Monitor
Location: Detroit, MI
Contact: Paul Pursifull of AC Diode
Project Summary: This team is developing a universal monitor for residential PV systems that communicates with any microinverter, giving installers flexibility during installation or over the lifetime of the PV system.
Pitch Video:
Team: Dunmore International Corp.
Technology: Transparent Polymer Barrier Films for PV
Location: Bristol, PA
Contact: Keith Lutz of Dunmore International
Project Summary: This team will develop and commercialize advanced transparent back and front sheets for bifacial PV modules.
Pitch Video:
Team: SolarWall
Technology: SolarWall Power Tower
Location: Buffalo, NY
Contact: John Hollick of SolarWall
Project Summary: This team is creating a hybrid energy tower using multiple renewable energy technologies, including solar-thermal, storage, PV, and wind.
Pitch Video:
Team: Renu Robotics Corp.
Technology: Robotics Changing the Landscape for Solar Farms
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact: Tony Padgett of Renu Robotics
Project Summary: This team is developing an autonomous electric lawnmower for utility-scale solar power plants that can maintain hundreds of acres a month without human interaction.
Pitch Video:
Team: Pursuit Solar
Technology: Pursuit Solar - More Power, Less Hassle
Location: Denver, NC
Contact: Eddie Bugg of Pursuit Solar
Project Summary: This team’s passive solar tracker enables panels to capture more solar energy without motors, controls, or external power. A small concentrating mirror system heats paraffin wax, which rotates the panels to track the sun when they’re properly positioned.
Pitch Video:
Team: Terra Solar
Technology: Simple-Assembly Storage Kit
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact: Jennie Yoshimoto of Terra Solar
Project Summary: This team is developing a “solar tree” kit that doesn’t need to go on a roof and is easy to install.
Pitch Video:
Team: Sol-Ark
Technology: Affordable Local Solar Storage via Utility Virtual Power Plants
Location: Parker, TX
Contact: Tom Brennan Sol-Ark
Project Summary: This team is a veteran-owned business that’s developing a sealed-enclosure, whole-home transfer switch for inverters as a cheaper, simpler alternative to typical emergency power backup panels. The team will also implement standardized communication protocols so utilities can interact with the inverters.
Pitch Video:
Team: CraftStrom USA Limited
Technology: Democratizing Solar with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Energy Management
Location: Houston, TX
Contact: Stephan Scherer of CraftStrom USA
Project Summary: This team is combining a thin-film solar panel and smart battery with AI software for home use. The software tracks a user’s production and storage data to optimize home energy bills.
Pitch Video:
Team: TrackerSled
Technology: TrackerSled
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Lawrence Kearns of TrackerSled
Project Summary: This team is developing a mobile solar array for farms that uses tractors mounted on pontoon skis to tow two digitally controlled single-axis solar trackers. The trackers follow the sun’s movement to capture sunlight on solar panels. The array’s mobility will help farmers rotate their cash crop and cover crop fields, improving soil health, income, and power generation.
Pitch Video:
Team: Vagner Energy LLF
Technology: Solar for Snow
Location: Duluth, MN
Contact: Danielle Rhodes of Vagner Energy
Project Summary: This team is developing silicon solar panels designed to work in areas that get a lot of snow and ice. A frameless panel will shed snow naturally, and a heating element will melt snow and ice.
Pitch Video:
Team: SolarWave IR Inc.
Technology: PV WaRD
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact: Erick Martinez Loran of SolarWave IR Inc.
Project Summary: This team has developed a contactless imaging tool that detects water in solar modules. The tool can be used as both a static measurement device during the manufacturing process and a mobile measurement device for field monitoring.
Pitch Video:
Team: Uplift Solar Corp.
Technology: Embedded, Multi-Function Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) for Smart Modules
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact: Darius Roberts of Uplift Solar
Project Summary: This team is developing a chip that is both a direct-current converter and an MPPT that can be embedded in a module. It will have a microprocessor that enables power line communication, ensuring module compliance with code updates.
Pitch Video:
Team: Shine Technologies LLC
Technology: JuiceBox: Integrated Solar Electricity for Americans Transitioning out of Homelessness and Recovering from Natural Disasters
Location: Claremont, CA
Contact: Solomon Olshin of Shine Technologies
Project Summary: This team is developing a small, lightweight, low-cost PV system with battery storage that does not require technical expertise to install, making it suitable for transitional homes and emergency management response.
Pitch Video:
Team: infiniRel Corp.
Technology: Inverter Health Scan
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact: Bert Wank of infiniRel
Project Summary: This team developed a patented hardware/software system that monitors solar inverters while they’re operating to detect component deterioration as well as software control issues.
Pitch Video:
Team: Maxout Renewables
Technology: Evergrid: Keep Solar Flowing When the Grid Is Down
Location: Livermore, CA
Contact: Kirsten Pace of Maxout Renewables
Project Summary: This team developed a cost-effective system that turns a residential solar installation into a microgrid that can keep power on during a grid outage.
Pitch Video:
Team: Verify Energy Inc.
Technology: Powerfly: A Plug-and-Play Solar Monitoring Device
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact: James D’Albora of Verify Energy
Project Summary: This team is developing a self-powered device for utility-scale PV plants that monitors communications by combining the data logger, cellular modem, and data plan.
Pitch Video:

Find out which 10 teams will become finalists, earning $100,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in support vouchers, and advancing to the final phase of competition.

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