Team Austria wins US DoE Solar Decathlon optimized by SolarEdge

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FREMONT, USA: The Vienna University of Technology Solar Decathlon 2013 Team (Team Austria) has won the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.


The winning entry by team Austria included a smart, sustainable home that produces more power than it consumes over the course of a year. This home can adapt to a wide variety of climates and lifestyles. The key success factors in making the house energy efficient are the Optimized by SolarEdge™ Holleis Lotus G2 solar smart modules and the SE5000A-US SolarEdge inverter. The modules proved best in class for energy performance getting a top score of 100 in the Energy Balance Contest.

The system includes 22 Holleis Lotus G2 smart modules. The modules are optimized by SolarEdge power optimizers that are embedded into the module replacing the traditional junction boxes. These smart modules are made by the Austrian company Alternative Energiesysteme Holleis. Since power optimizers perform the Maximum Power Point tracking at the module level, they increase energy harvest by mitigating losses from soiling, shade and module aging.

These smart modules can also report back their daily production of energy and notify the homeowner if there are any issues. The power optimizers also keep string voltage at a constant level, well below 600V. This enabled the Austria team to connect all 22 modules in a single string - 60% longer than what is possible with traditional string inverters.

"The Lotus G2 modules Optimized by SolarEdge™ helped our team reach a higher energy harvest, to have better visibility into daily energy production and to simplify the installation process. This technology was key in enabling us to reach a best in class score in the Energy Balance Contest," says Karin Stieldorf, team captain for the Vienna University of Technology.