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Team Solliance wins Student Challenges

During the Student Challenges at Industrial Technologies 2016 students from all over the world worked together to find solutions for problems industrial companies are facing. Winner of the Student Challenges is team Solliance, with their remarkable solution for new solar cell applications. 

Winners Student Challenge team Solliance

During the first 2 days of the Industrial Technologies Conference in Amsterdam a dedicated group of 36 students wrapped their heads around challenging problems from companies in the industry. Six companies, varying from start-ups to renowned companies submitted a real industrial challenge for our students to solve. 

The winners of the challenge are the 6 students of team Solliance, a joint innovation of different R&D organisations. This team consists of international students who spent two days on challenges in the application and integration of thin film solar cell technologies. "This challenge is about finding the most interesting applications in which thin film solar cell technology can make the difference. It is a challenge combining creativity, technical/analytical thinking and a business point of view", says Frank de Graaf, scientist and business developer at Solliance and coach of the winning team. 

Solarcell integrated in textile

The winning team came up with the idea of SolarZip, solarcell integrated in textile to use as a roof for street stalls. Ms Taguhi Yeghoyan from Armenia explains the background of the idea: “One of our team members is a student from India. She told us about the large amount of street stalls in India and the problems the food sellers have with keeping their food fresh. So we came up with an idea to invent a flexible solar cell solution integrated in textile. The surface of the cells can be managed by zipping pieces together, we integrated connectors into the zippers. At this moment we estimated that 1 sqm costs 100 euro, but in 2020 the price will be half. We are happy to get the confirmation that this idea is a good one."

Brilliant idea

After an energetic pitch the jury nominated team Solliance as the winner of the challenges. The jury praised the students for their applicable solution. They see an enormous potential in a flexible solarcell solution. The students were awarded with a price by Mr. Guido Dierick, CEO at NXP. “I know how Solliance has been struggeling with finding really good applications. I think this idea is brilliant because it can be applied everywhere in the world and the team is using natural resources. If the team masters the production of a good zip and finds a sustainable solution for the material to last long in difficult weather conditions compared to the cost, this is brilliant. The combination of the applicability and the use of high-tech is what I really like."