SunSniffer monitors a complete PV power plant, including each individual module. Image: Sunsniffer
Organised by Fraunhofer CSE in partnership with Royal DSM and Greentown Labs, the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II had selected four early-stage companies from 56 applications to be given support in bringing their technology to market faster.
As with the inaugural SunRISE TechBridge Challenge in 2016, the winning companies will receive support under Greentown Labs Start-up Acceleration program, technical validation services from the Fraunhofer R&D network, and eligibility for investment by DSM Venturing and/or partnership with DSM Advanced Solar.
Last year, two winners received funding out of the five selected companies (QD Solar and WattGlass) received DSM Venturing investments.
The winners of the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II include Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Leading Edge Crystal Technologies, which is said to developing a novel manufacturing process to make silicon wafers with higher efficiency and lower cost. However, the technology is being developed to enable production to fit into existing module manufacturing processes without any changes, according to Fraunhofer CSE.
Boston, Massachusetts-based SunDensity was also selected as it is developing a proprietary photonic technology to produce nano-coated solar glass that maximizes conversion of solar radiation into electric power.
Nürnberg, Germany-based SunSniffer, which already has commercialised products, will receive support for its low-cost module-integrated sensor for monitoring PV systems in real-time, enabling increase of energy output and lower maintenance costs.
Finally, Saudi Arabia based NOMADD Desert Solar Solutions will be given support to further develop its low-cost waterless automated solar panel cleaning mechanism, which is designed to significantly reduces yield losses due to dust.