The ground of photovoltaic (PV) plants reflects sunlight that can be captured by the PV modules and improve the energy generation efficiency of a plant. However, different ground surfaces reflect the light differently and not all surfaces reflect as much light as it would be desirable.
Therefore, The Seeker is looking for novel solutions (covers, paints, coatings, or otherwise) to maximize ground’s energy reflection and, consequently, the performance of PV plants.
This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.
In solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, sunlight that is reflected by the ground and not capture by PV modules is, essentially, energy that is wasted and a missed opportunity to improve the efficiency of the plant. Bifacial PV modules, with one side facing the ground, exist in order to address that opportunity.
However, there is still potential to improve the efficiency of bifacial PV modules if the ground surface is optimized in order to reflect more light than natural grounds. Paints and coatings have been used in order to improve the ratio of sunlight that is reflected (albedo) but they tend to be detrimental to the environment.
Therefore, the Seeker is looking for novel solutions (covers, paints, coatings, or otherwise) to maximize ground albedo and consequently the performance of bifacial PV plants.
This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.
To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 15, 2017. Late submissions will not be considered.
ABOUT THE SEEKER
Enel Green Power, established in December 2008, is the Enel Group company that develops and manages energy generation from renewable sources at a global level, with a presence in Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa. Enel Green Power is a major global operator in the field of energy generation from renewable sources, with an annual production of 32 TW/h, mainly from water, the Sun, wind and the Earth's heat, meeting the energy consumption of over 11 million families and avoiding 17 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Enel Green Power has an installed capacity of 10.571 MW, produced by 710 plants in 16 countries and with a generation mix that includes wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass.
We are committed to contributing to sustainable development. We believe that renewable sources play a central role in promoting the competitiveness of the production system of several countries and to ensure secure energy supplies. Indeed, widespread electricity generation from water, the Sun, wind and the Earth's heat helps improve a country's energy independence, while also protecting the environment. Enel Green Power aims to grow by substantially increasing its installed capacity and enhancing each country's technology mix, aimed at highlighting specific local peculiarities and building on Enel's expertise in this sector. In countries having a retail organisation, we also work for families and companies in order to achieve energy self-production, -consumption and -management.
What is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?
An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.
This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.