Solar Reviews new industry data-driven algorithm predicts the Intersolar Award winner (Photovoltaics) 2020 in solar module innovation before the virtual ceremony on June 30, 2020. In a year where global lockdown dampened the spirits of many, solar energy innovation has thrived, and this year’s finalists certainly didn’t disappoint.
In simplified terms, the prestigious Intersolar award awards superior innovation (majority 40% scoring criteria). Innovation in which technology and specifications stand a class above, providing inroads which shape the future of the industry.
By inputting the numbers alone, the Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria 2.5 ranked the REC Alpha as the best overall solar module commercially available in 2020. Coincidentally, the REC Alpha claimed the top prize as InterSolar Award winner 2020 (Photovoltaics) ahead of runners up Jinko Tiger (N-Type) and Trina Solar Vertex.
Unfortunately for the Solar Review algorithm, the same can’t be said in the inverters category. The Intersolar Award-winning inverter range, Fronius Symo GEN24, remains 0.3 ranking points (Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria) behind the best-known overall inverter specifications in its class.
A result which could be better with the public release of more in-depth specifications by Fronius. Vital scoring criteria such as efficiency temperature derating points, maximum noise emission and so forth are still unable to be obtained for a full data-driven evaluation.
Below are the Intersolar Award categories winners and finalists most likely to be relevant to Solar Review readers.
Solar Module Winner
REC continues to innovate, and the rest continue to follow. 2015 Intersolar Award winner REC TwinPeak redefined half-cell technology to now become an industry standard. 2019’s release of the REC Alpha combines the half-cell platform with ultra-efficient HJT cell technology for one of the best performing solar modules available in real-world conditions. A worthy winner in the innovative stakes.
Solar Module Finalists
Another win for data-driven discovery as not only is the Jinko Tiger (N-Type) an Intersolar Award 2020 finalist, it is the highest ranked solar module in the Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria for new release solar modules made commercially available in 2020.
Jinko is proving to be more than just a mass volume producer in recent years winning the Intersolar Award 2019 for the Swan bifacial range. The Jinko N-Type, however, is a more fitting solution for most residential rooftops demanding high performance with the incorporation of a unique 132 N-Type shingled cell design for a module efficiency of up to 21.6%.
2020 Intersolar Award Finalist: Trina Solar Vertex
The Solar Review Module Assessment Criteria did not assess the Trina Solar Vertex range due to the design being aimed at commercial and industrial use.
What we see though is an era of 500W+ solar module designs set to take the world by storm. Why such a revelation? In simplified terms, 2 x panels now = 1kW (yes, that day is here!). Less solar panels should reflect reduced associated infrastructure and installation costs ensuring solar technology becomes more affordable than ever.
Solar Inverter Winner
This all-in-one 3-phase solar and battery inverter was always going to win the Intersolar Award 2020 once the finalists were announced. Why? It’s another step closer to meeting end-user expectation within a single device and will undoubtedly enjoy the most significant uptake of all the finalist.
Even though certain specifications remain unidentified, the Fronius Symo GEN24 will offer selected HV DC-coupled battery connectivity such as BYD and the Fronius battery range. The newly refined build ensures fewer points of failure and the electrical inputs allow for flexibility in solar module configurations.
On a global scale where advanced three-phase multimode inverter options are limited, the Fronius Symo GEN24 is sure to be on the wishlist for many.
Solar Inverter Finalists
2020 Intersolar Award Finalist: Sungrow SG250HX
As the demand for large scale increases globally, so too does the need for more flexible solar inverter technologies and the Sungrow SG250HX presents as an incredibly effective large scale inverter option.
250 kW output inverter, 12-independent Multiple Power Point Trackers and an outstanding 98.8% weighted efficiency, the commercial inverter innovative space is becoming very interesting.
2020 Intersolar Award Finalist: Ampner ACE 300 PV
Finland based manufacturer Ampner presents the world’s most powerful string inverter technology in 2020 with up 330 kW output per unit. Simplification around the installation requirements surrounding large-scale inverter technologies ensures the needs of more expensive central inverter designs are not required.
Furthermore, the Ampner ACE 300 boasts a phenomenal 25-years operational life with service intervals every 10-years ensure lower ongoing system maintenance costs. A lesser-known brand in the large-scale inverter technology space with impressive features consider to be exceptionally innovative, remember this name.
EES & Other Winners
Ferroamp Elektronik AB (Photovoltaics) – Generic Solar String Optimizer (SSO)
FENECON GmbH (EES) – FENECON Industrial
Webasto SE (EES) – CV Standard Battery System
ZnR Batteries SAS (EES) – The Zinium Zinc-Air Rechargeable Battery
EES & Other Finalists
BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH/Zimmermann PV-Stahlbau GmbH & Co. KG (Photovoltaics) – The Integrated BayWa r.e. Floating PV Solution based on ZimFloat
Eturnity AG (Photovoltaics) –Integrated Simulation Platform
NanoPhos SA (Photovoltaics) – Surfashield G
ads-tec Energy GmbH (EES) – Mobile High Power Charger (MHPC)
BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH (EES) – Hybrid Storage System Meets AC/DC E-Mobility Charging Infrastructure
BYD Company Limited (EES) – Battery Box Premium
Instagrid GmbH (EES) – Instagrid BPS
LG Chem, Ltd. (EES) – New RESU Modular
Pylon Technologies Co., Ltd. (EES) – Powercube H1
volytica diagnostics GmbH (EES) – Battery Diagnosis as a Service