Winners 2014

Commercial Rooftop Installation Award

Belectric UK

Lakeside Energy from Waste

Large Ground Mount Installation

Lark Energy

Ketton Cement Works

BIPV Innovation Award

The Solar Cloth Company

BOS Installation Tool Award

SolarEdge

Smart Energy Management Solution

Energy Storage Management Award

Moixa Technology

Battery Systems: MASLOW

Innovation in PV Technology Award

Fullsun Photovoltaic

Next Generation HCPV

Solar Initiative Award

Solar Advanced Systems

RIOS Scheme

Solar Award EPC Excellence

Conergy UK

Solar UK Industry Award for EPC Excellence.

Conergy UK

Undeniably 2014 has been a stellar year for Conergy, and a record-breaking one for British solar. Four years ago, the country was home to solar capacity of less than 100MW. By 2013 one gigawatt (1GW) of new power had been added in one year for the first time, and by the end of September this year, 1.5GW in just nine months, double last year’s rate. In June, the nation’s solar panels produced a record 7.8% of demand during daylight hours. If last year was when the UK broke through to stand tall among solar markets internationally, it was only this year that solar started to be taken seriously at home as a significant player in UK energy. Solar capacity today stands at over 5MW, about ten percent of average demand.

Conergy started the year in excellent shape. With the solar farm market fast developing, the sale of the company to Miami’s Kawa Capital Management the previous summer had given the company much more financial clout . Conergy closed a deal shortly afterwards with partners Camborne Energy (now 3C) for a portfolio of four planned solar farms in different parts of the country – Norfolk, Dorset and South Wales – sold to London-based investor Primrose Solar before construction had even begun. Alongside three other solar farms commissioned by different customers for the end of March, a challenging workload.

Conergy had barely recovered from New Year before losing diggers in the winter mud. January was the wettest on record, and large parts of the south were flooded, in some places until March. DECC was not prepared to extend the ROC deadlines because of the weather, so the pressure was on. The company had to complete, and if that meant giving up on diggers, that is what they did. With great support from Conergy's engineers from across Europe, the company installed 68MW of capacity in just three months across seven sites. It was an achievement that set up the company for the rest of the year, and helped to win the coveted Solar UK Industry Award for EPC Excellence.

Anticipating further growth, Conergy hired more staff at the main UK offices in Milton Keynes, and at the project development arm bought from Wirsol, well known for its 1.1MWp rooftop project at the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Coventry. A bank guarantee facility, arranged by Deutsche Bank and worth close to £40m, allowed Conergy to increase the number of projects being worked on at any one time, and we bought £200m of projects, including plenty of sub-5MW schemes that would outlast the accelerated transition to CFDs for projects over 5MW. I had been part of the government’s UK solar strategy taskforce, so this development had not come as a great surprise.

The summer was dry and good for builds and we have so far connected two more solar farms – one of the country’s biggest, at 37MW, for utility RWE, and another near Bristol with 21MW, where the local community will get a share of proceeds. By the end of the year Conergy will have broken ground on around another ten solar farm projects, so there is no let-up for our engineers and logistics experts.

According to Robert Goss, Conergy UK managing director the company expects the 2015 solar farm business to remain steady, and the company is working with partner developers and investors, especially on sub-5MW projects. Conergy expect to get back into rooftops in a big way, with new offers for commercial facilities and large-scale residential projects, in both private and public sectors. Each year British solar gets bigger and stronger because it is better diversified. Conergy has taken a lead role in its development, and is looking to a very successful 2015!

COMMERCIAL ROOFTOP INSTALLATION AWARD

BELECTRIC UK

Lakeside Energy from Waste project

Lakeside Energy from Waste is a joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor. Situated close to Heathrow Terminal 5, the facility consumes 410,000 tonnes of London’s non-recyclable waste each year to generate 37 megawatts of electricity. In an effort to further the environmental standing of the joint venture, BELECTRIC UK was appointed in November 2013 to construct a solar PV rooftop system to generate energy on-site with the express purpose of powering this flagship facility.

BELECTRIC UK is known for its intelligent solar solutions. The company overcame a challenging work environment to install 1,000 solar panels using ropes and abseiling on one third of the south-facing curved roof at the back of the plant. Each year the system generates 230,500 Kwh of sustainable energy, and delivers a saving of 137,000 tonnes of carbon.

Toddington Harper, BELECTRIC UK CEO says “We are delighted to have won this award for such an iconic building. The team worked extremely hard to ensure install this world class 250 kilowatt peak solar power system onto such a unique, tall building, without any disruption or downtime to the power production on site”.

The purpose of the Solar UK Industry Awards is to recognise best practice, success stories and developments along the entire value chain of the solar industry - from laboratory based technology developments to efficient system installation. The Awards focus on the people, processes and products that drive the solar industry forward. This award will be in good company on the BELECTRIC mantelpiece as the Company continues to be recognised for its unrivalled solar developments for rooftops, car parks and solar farms in the UK and internationally.

BIPV INNOVATION AWARD

The Solar Cloth Company

The Solar Cloth Company is being recognised for installing the world-first lightweight, flexible TFPV carport. The company is in negotiations with major retailers, car park operators and constructors to roll-out these structures nationwide.

Commercial properties in the UK, excluding factories, account for 13% of the UK's energy consumption, and 19% of the UK's CO2 output. There are an estimated 834m2 of non-load bearing roofing and 353m2 of car parking. Both represent potential markets for our lightweight, flexible solar panels worth in the region of £50 billion and £70 billion respectively. What's more, the vast majority of the UK's supermarkets and warehouses are covered by non-load bearing roofing that can only support lightweight, flexible solar panels.

The Solar Cloth Company’ lightweight, flexible solar panels are unique in their ability to be installed at low cost onto any roof, thanks to their low-load and flexible polymer backing meaning solar solutions can be built into any type of building.

The lightweight, flexible solar panels are made using thin film PV (TFPV), which are state-of-the-art solar cells that weigh less than 3.3kg/m2 - a tenth of the weight of traditional solar panels. They can be laid over almost all low-load bearing structures, and bonded to most structural fabrics to allow application in tensile structures, stadia and agricultural land covers. TFPV are lighter and more powerful than existing silicon panels. Given the 20-year lifetime of our lightweight, flexible solar panels, thousands of additional kWh of energy could be produced and fed into the National Grid.

In addition, the company is collaborating with the University of Cambridge and other leading European universities for multimillion-pound projects to create ultralow-cost-TFPV.

BIPV INNOVATION AWARD

SolarEdge Technologies

Smart Energy Management Solution

The average size of a PV system is trending upward allowing owners to minimize grid consumption throughout the day. However this boom in PV generation has also altered the structure of grid operations prompting a number of countries to put in place regulations that limit the amount of PV power that can be delivered to the grid – some have even banned PV systems from feeding into the grid altogether. In many cases customers cannot justify the economics of a PV system purely for self-consumption or are forced to reduce the size of their desired system to avoid exceeding the local feed-in limit.

The SolarEdge Smart Energy Management solution includes a feed-in limitation feature that enables PV system owners to maximize self-consumption while maintaining compliance with local grid regulations and installation standards.

By enabling customers to dynamically manage the amount of PV power produced so that the power fed into the grid never exceeds the limit the SolarEdge feed-in limitation unlocks a new level of operational flexibility for system owners. SolarEdge’s feed-in limitation is integrated directly into the inverter firmware ensuring it maintains the output power limit set forth by the utility at all times.

For the first time PV system owners can easily maximize self-consumption when loads are high then feed into the grid when the loads are low without violating local regulations and procedures.

R & D AWARD

Dr Piotr Kaminski of Loughborough University

for the development of broadband anti-reflection coatings that add 4% to the efficiency.

Efficiency of Photovoltaic devices is limited by reflection losses. In PV module the light enters the cell through the glass and the reflection of light from the outer glass surface represents an immediate optical loss. These may result in about 4 % of the solar energy loss at the PV module surface.

The most commonly used techniques to reduce the reflection include texturing of the glass surface and the application of an Anti-Reflective Coating (ARC). The simplest ARC consists of a single layer of refractive index matching material. The problem is the availability of material with a refractive index lower than glass (n=1.52).

Multi-layer AR (MAR) coatings are widely used in the Ophthalmic industry to reduce the reflection and glare on spectacle lenses. They are also used in precision optics for a variety of applications including increasing the transmission on camera lenses. These MAR coatings are designed based on a high/low refractive index materials pairs. In our study we used silicon dioxide (SiO2) as the low index material and zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) as the high index material. The choice of these materials was dictated by the durability and cost of the materials. By careful design of the thickness of each layer in a multilayer stack we were able to minimise the reflection losses down to 1.22 % from 4.22%. This translated to 3.6% relative increase in efficiency of a thin film CdTe solar cell.

The PV market size was ~38GWp in 2013. If performance of all sold PV panels could be improved by 3.6% the installed panels would have 39.36GWp. A 1.36GWp increase, this is comparable to the size of the PV market in 2005.

These dielectric metal-oxide materials are hard and scratch resistant and adhere well to glass surfaces. Their durability and environmental stability is exceptional and already well proven in the ophthalmic and precision optical applications even on plastic substrates.

The cost of such a broadband MAR coating for solar modules could be dramatically reduced if deposited at high volumes using high material utilisation rotating magnetrons by a glass manufacturer. The sputtering process developed in this study is capable of scaling to an industrial level. The durability and environmental stability of multilayer dielectric coatings is well established and will not be an issue for manufacturing warranties even when modules are subject to regular cleaning cycles.