PAST WINNERS IN THE CATEGORY Energy & Power
2017 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
Gallium nitride power conversion by GaN
Whenever power conversion happens losses occur. These losses manifest themselves as waste heat, which has to be dissipated and gives rise to excess greenhouse gases. Using gallium nitride, with its much lower on-resistance, superior fast-switching capabilities and zero reverse recovery losses a more efficient conversion is achieved. Gallium nitride technology offers significant efficiency improvements over traditional silicon technology when used in high power conversion systems, thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and various criteria air contaminants. Hybrid and electric vehicles have a substantial power conversion requirement – a typical drivetrain can be switching 100kW. A typical silicon-based converter will be optimally 95% efficient – therefore having a 5% loss – or 5kW. These losses, as heat, have to be disposed of, and the current solutions involve water-cooling and separate radiator systems. GaN converters can achieve 98 to 99% efficiency – a threefold reduction in losses, and thanks to GaN’s higher efficiency, can be air-cooled. Other applications include solar, wind and smart-grid, and high-efficiency power supply.
2018 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
SolarReserve is solving the problem of meaningfully and cost-effectively storing intermittent renewable energy, so it can be reliable and available to meet electricity demand whenever needed, day and night. Our patented technology captures and stores solar energy in molten salt, providing power utilities and energy intensive entities with 24/7 reliable, non-intermittent renewable energy. Molten salt tower receiver with integrated thermal energy storage leads the concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) industry in terms of efficiency, reliability and cost. The technology provides both energy generation as well as bulk energy storage at a price competitive with conventional generation in many markets.
2019 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
NEXWAFE (Kerfless wafering by high throughput epitaxy)
Based in Germany, Nexwafe aims to increase competitive advantages for solar energy by replacing traditional manufacturing methods with high end process, including growing new layers on a re-usable Si seed wafer. NexWafe can both cut production costs and recycle used materials, not least by making certain parts of the process (polysilicon production, ingot pulling, wire sawing) obsolete. By doing so cost of wafer production are cut in half, silicon losses are reduced by more than 90%, and the use of energy is also reduced by 50%. Replacing todays wafer production by our technology would save 50.000.000 tons of CO2 emission per year.
2011 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
More than $10 billion is spent each year on kerosene for lighting the homes of the poor in developing countries. Barefoot Power helps poor families stop spending their scarce cash by providing a safer and cheaper option.
2012 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
Center for Rice Husk Energy Technology
Most countries that depend heavily on rice, consider the husks to be waste. The Center for Rice Husk Energy Technology (CRHET), a program of the College of Agriculture Resources and Environmental Sciences at Central Philippine University, has developed a stove that is fueled with gas produced by rice husks. The stoves are easy to construct using a manual. Gas produced from the husks can also provide heating and power to drive electrical generators. The program aims at providing clean-burning fuel to communities that are off the electrical grid. It operates in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.
2013 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
This for-profit business based in Pittsburgh, PA invented environmentally friendly batteries that can be used in large-scale energy systems like solar and wind power generators. The batteries are made with non-toxic materials like salt water that acts as the electrolyte.
2014 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
Retroficiency’s Building Efficiency Intelligence Platform
Retroficiency has developed a virtual energy assessment model that provides a fast and cost-effective approach to turning energy savings potential into real projects. Retroficiency’s Building Efficiency Intelligence (BEI) platform combines sophisticated energy analytics and rapid building modelling with data from thousands of previously conducted energy audits to deliver insights within minutes, driving savings across utility programs at minimized costs. The BEI platform creates an energy model of each building analysed. With these models, utilities and energy service providers can use data to rapidly and accurately evaluate and rank all buildings within a portfolio by total energy savings or end-use savings to target those with the highest savings potential. The platform then helps convert energy assessments into real projects.
2015 - Energy & Power - Category Winner
Qualcomm Halo is a wireless approach to charging electrical cars.