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And the awards in the category "Visionaries and commitment to sustainability of photovoltaics" go to: our #PVPioneers winners!
You have paved the way for today's energy transition. With your vision of a sustainable energy supply, you have contributed to the successful establishment of solar energy and its global acceptance.
This 1.1 KWp PV system is called Phoenix 1 and was installed in 1998, ever since when it has been reliably feeding solar power into the utility grid. Kurt reads its yield data using a Sunny Beam system. A real success story in the history of solar power.
Back in 1994, Karsten – a teacher – and his solar power working group installed a PV system on the roof of his school and expanded it over the years until no space was left. The working group also equipped a school in Tanzania with a PV system so that it would no longer have to deal with the frequent power outages there. An amazing project with cross-continental reach.
One of the oldest PV systems in Germany can be found in Schneverdingen. Inge and Rudi first started using solar power back in 1993 and have fed around 1,200 kWh of solar power into the utility grid every year ever since. That’s 27 years without any major faults – amazing.
Franz’s 6.6-kWp system, which dates back to 1997, initially operated off-grid before he connected it to the utility grid when the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) entered force. This required the installation of a purpose-built grid connection. Now, thanks to a Sunny Island battery inverter, the system can operate in grid and stand-alone modes simultaneously.
For Siegfried Heisse, the 1,000 Roof Program was the inspiration he needed to play his part in the energy transition back in 1992. His 1.9-kWp installation was the second system in Schwaben, Bavaria, to commence operations. For ten years, it supplied measurement data to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, making a lasting contribution to the growth of photovoltaics in Germany.
Not enough space to stand up straight, but enough space for a solar power installation. Since 1997, two Sunny Boy SWR 850 systems have been converting solar energy to clean electricity. It is a pioneering model that will hopefully prove successful for many more years to come.
A real tinkerer and handyman, Heino built his PV system himself back in 1987/88. His goal – which he achieved – was to take part in the 1988 “Tour de Sol” world championships in Switzerland. In 1992, he expanded the system as part of the 1,000 Roof Program and has been a passionate champion of solar power ever since.
The only thing that’s aging is himself, says Kurt. Despite being in operation for around 20 years, his PV system shows no sign of wear or tear. Each Sunny Boy has so far fed a total of 56 MWh into the utility grid. A pioneering spirit really is the key to staying young.
Mark never misses an opportunity to show off his SMA Sunny Boy 2500U inverters, which he installed on the outside of his home back in 2002. He firmly believes that the inverters have lasted so long because of the active cooling fins, among other things. We also think that's pretty cool.
David connected his PV system, which is equipped with Sunny Boy 2500U inverters, to the grid more than 15 years ago when his daughter was born. He then immediately made his system – the first to be installed in Olympia, Washington – available as a training system. To this day, the system still produces 96% of its initial energy level. What amazing foresight.
Zwerius’ system in Ootmarsum is now 18 years old. And to this day, the small, roof-mounted solar power plant has lost nothing of its appeal to him. Here’s to many more years of operation.
Ginaluca Bertolino & Paola Ceci
Back in 2005, Gianluca from Italy installed what was only the second PV system in Milan. The technicians from the local power company had no idea how to connect the required energy meter, so Gianluca – himself an installation engineer – immediately showed them what to do. Great performance.
The system runs non-stop: Rolf’s PV system went online on May 1, 1995, costing an incredible DM82,000 – or around €42,000 in today’s money. Around half this sum was reimbursed by the regional mining inspectorate. Additional subsidies were not available at the time. The system has since paid for itself, thanks not least to the attractive grid charge. A real pioneering spirit.
Andreas from Dinslaken is a true visionary when it comes to sustainability. He installed his PV system directly on his grass roof back in 1998 and the Sunny Boy 750 inverters have been running without interruption ever since. An ecological pioneer.
Willi started off with just a small PV system, which he has been expanding ever since. He now supplies his entire home with solar power. An especially innovative shaper of the energy transition.