Green Innovation Result Of Solar Competition

Nothing speeds up innovation like a little competition (and unbridled imagination). At least that’s the logic behind the Ascent Solar Innovative Design Competition, where college students across the US compete to develop practical applications for Ascent Solar’s lightweight, thin film flexible photovoltaic cells.

After reviewing applications with an initial project idea, budget, timeline, and target market, Ascent Solar announced the seven competing teams from Boston University, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Diego State, Texas A&M, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Oregon. Each team will receive Ascent’s solar modules and project funding to spend the next five months creating a working prototype application for the technology.

Engineering Drawings

image via Shutterstock

The competition sets up a win-win-win situation; the winning team receives up to $10,000 in cash prizes and potential job opportunities at Ascent Solar; Ascent Solar gets bright young minds to run with their portable solar cell technology and reveal its potential; and the rest of us (and our green planet) get a cool new portable technology that utilizes renewable resources.

Members of Ascent Solar’s engineering and product development teams will judge the final designs on ingenuity, usefulness, and ability to transform the product for market. We’ll be back in April to share the winning designs from this earth friendly competition.

Angeli Duffin is a Midwest transplant currently living in San Francisco, CA. Kicking off her career doing product design and development with Fair Trade artisans around the world, she then moved on to the editorial side, writing for eBay’s Green Team blog and working as a marketing consultant for social and environmentally minded companies

1 Comment

  • Reply December 7, 2011


    We use 12 volt deep cycle batteries to power our emergency network of ham radios in Sonoma County CA. Thin film would be a great way to trickle charge these batteries.They would be fresh to power our radios during a disaster related power outage.

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