SOURCE: SfunCube


March 09, 2015 09:00 ET

Solar Product Ideas Wanted -- Reward: Over $600,000 in Cash Prizes

An International Thin-Film Solar Product Design Competition, Co-Hosted by SfunCube, Will Award More Than $600,000 in Cash Prizes and the Chance to Commercialize the Winning Idea

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 9, 2015) - Calling all designers, industrial engineers, life-hackers, gadget makers, consumer product leaders, solar entrepreneurs, and anyone with a creative concept for solar-powered stuff -- vehicles, structures, portable devices, outdoor gear or other applications. Your innovative thin-film solar product idea could win the $160,000 grand prize in the Hanergy Thin-Film Solar Product Global Innovation Competition.

To raise more awareness for thin-film solar, Hanergy Thin Film Power, a leading solar manufacturer, has launched the competition in cooperation with several international design centers and SfunCube, the world's most vibrant ecosystem for solar start-ups.

Light, flexible thin-film solar technology has developed to a point where it can now be used to generate solar power for a wide range of small and large consumer and industrial devices, yet many designers and engineers are unaware of the technology's usefulness for these applications.

A panel of industrial design educators, business leaders and architects from the U.S., Europe and Asia will judge submitted designs. The grand-prize winner will receive 1 million CNY (approximately $160,000) plus complimentary travel to one of several R&D labs around the world, with the opportunity to commercialize and bring the product to market. The total cash awarded for all prizes in the different categories is worth 3.9 million CNY, or about $629,000.

Danny Kennedy, the solar entrepreneur who co-founded the SfunCube incubator and the leading global residential solar company Sungevity, sees this contest as an opportunity to not only develop more solar businesses, but also to foster new and creative ways to integrate clean solar energy into people's daily lives.

"Electricity unchained is the next step for solar," said Kennedy. "Thin-film solar is approaching the power efficiency of traditional solar panels, plus it's super light and flexible."

Thin-film solar can be bent and shaped, and applied to fabrics, plastic shells, metals, or almost any material. And because it's thin and lightweight, it's ideal for portably charging battery-powered gear, accessories, and large and small consumer devices.

"The future of electricity is clearly one in which we take our energy direct from the source -- the sun," added Kennedy. "All the business models built around steam-engines and baseload power are being disrupted by standard silicon solar modules. Imagine what will happen when we can provide electricity at the point of use with small applications of solar power appropriate to the load. It will put portable power into the hands of the people. The creative designers who enter this competition will have a chance to make history with their powerful new ideas."

For more information about the Competition and the potential of thin-film solar, go to Initial contest submission deadline is May 10, 2015. Sample proposals are online and may help entrants to structure their competition proposals. Entrants that need help or have questions about their submission proposal should contact Andrew Chang at

About SfunCube

Based in Oakland, California, SfunCube is the world's most vibrant ecosystem for solar start-ups. Aside from great co-working space and online and offline business advisory services, SfunCube hosts events and competitions, such as an annual Solar Hackathon, all with the purpose of accelerating the success of solar entrepreneurs.

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