SolarWorld Einstein Awards go to founders of Water Missions International and SMA
Water-engineering ministry will receive up to 100 kilowatts of SolarWorld solar panels
FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 25, 2012
The parent company of SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, today honored founders of U.S.-based Christian nonprofit Water Missions International and the largest solar inverter manufacturer, Germany-based SMA, in the company’s annual Einstein Awards ceremony here.
At an event attended by solar researchers and solar-industry leaders, SolarWorld saluted Water Missions founders Molly and George Greene III of Charleston, S.C., for their organization’s use of solar power to operate water pumps in filtrating clean, safe water supplies for communities in developing economies. The Greenes devote their lives to voluntary leadership of an organization that employs 150 people in nine countries to provide clean water supplies and educational and community support for their use. An estimated 1.2 billion people, especially children under 5, suffer – and die – from water-borne parasites and disease. As few as four solar panels can power a pump to supply water to up to 5,000 people.
SolarWorld AG Chairman and CEO Frank Asbeck also announced that the company would donate up to 100 kilowatts of power to Water Missions. In the eight years of SolarWorld’s Einstein Awards program, the Greenes are the first recipients from America.
Also honored with an Einstein Award for outstanding service rendered in the field of solar energy was Günther Cramer, co-founder of SMA. Cramer and three partners founded SMA Regelsysteme GmbH while working at the University of Kassel in 1981. The company was renamed SMA Technology AG in 2004. Over 30 years, Cramer transformed SMA into a company employing 5,500 people. Today, SMA is the technology and global market leader in the manufacture of solar inverters, a device that converts direct electrical current to alternating current.
Finally, the Junior Einstein Award was presented to physicist Bianca Lim from the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hameln, Germany. The 30-year-old won the recognition for her work on boron-silicon compounds in silicon solar cells. The compounds are an important remaining limitation on the rising energy-generation efficiency of solar photovoltaic cells. The phenomenon has been recognized for several years, but the causes have not been fully understood.
“SolarWorld salutes Water Missions and SMA for their work leveraging the amazing power of solar in two fundamentally important ways,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the commercial arm of SolarWorld in the Americas. “We look forward to witnessing the continued advances of these trail-blazing organizations. Like Water Missions, SMA also is a leader in its field in the Americas. In that light, this year’s Einstein Awards reflect the rising recognition of solar’s potential not only in Europe but also in the American market.”
SolarWorld Einstein Award 2011
Dr. Bertrand Piccard and the Solar Impulse Team Receive SolarWorld Einstein Award
Freiburg junior scientist honored with SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award
SolarWorld AG will be presenting the SolarWorld Einstein Award for the seventh time this evening. The award ceremony will take place in the context of the 26th European Photovoltaic Exhibition and Conference. The SolarWorld Einstein Award 2011 goes to the team around Dr. Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg for the development of the solar aircraft Solar Impulse that can fly day and night without fuel. The first night flight and a flight within Europe have already been completed successfully. The next milestone of the project will be a flight around the world.
“With the award we honor personalities who alert us to the current challenges of mankind with their work. Solar Impulse shows that with technological innovation and the courage for new thinking we can overcome the dependence on fossil resources”, says the Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG, Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck, explaining the choice of this year’s award winner.
The 2011 SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award goes to the Freiburg physicist Paul Gundel. The 30-year-old described new microscopic measuring methods for the characterization of silicon and solar cells in his thesis written at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. Properties crucial to solar cell like electron lifetime or mechanical stresses can now be measured with a significantly higher level of accuracy. “The solar cells of the future will display very much finer structures in their basic make-up than today’s generation. To this end the photovoltaic industry will require more precise measuring methods to be able to characterize the structures and properties comprehensively and locally. Paul Gundel has outwitted the conventional limits of physics in terms of local resolution and detection limits by consistently implementing a clever idea. He is making a new tool available to science and industry that will help to increase the degrees of efficiency of solar cells”, says Dr. Holger Neuhaus, quoting from the decision of the jury.
The award ceremony will take place at the Cruise Center Hamburg-Altona. It is the very first event ever to be staged at the cruise terminal which was opened as recently as in June. The SolarWorld Einstein Award has been bestowed since 2005 upon personalities from science, industry, politics and society who have acquired special merits in the development of photovoltaic technology. Previous award winners are Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Dr. Hermann Scheer, Prof. Dr. Adolf Goetzberger and Dr. Rupert Neudeck.
About SolarWorld AG: The SolarWorld AG Group (ISIN: DE0005108401) is a worldwide leader in offering brand-name, high quality, crystalline solar power technology. Its strength is its fully integrated solar production. From silicon as the raw material through wafers, cells and modules all the way to turn-key solar systems of all sizes, the group combines all stages of the solar value chain. The central business activity is selling quality modules into the installation and distribution trades and crystalline wafers to the international solar cell industry. Group headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. The group´s largest production facilities operate in Freiberg, Germany and Hillsboro in the U.S. State of Oregon. Sustainability is the basis of the group strategy. Under the name Solar2World, the group supports care projects using off-grid solar-power solutions in developing countries, exemplifying sustainable economic development. Worldwide, SolarWorld employs more than 3,600 people. SolarWorld AG has been quoted on the stock exchange since 1999 and today is listed on, among others, the TecDAX and ÖkoDAX as well as in the sustainability index NAI.