DOE SunShot’s 1st Hackathon

This week at the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit in Anaheim, the SunShot Initiative hosted its first ever Hackathon. The event featured 6 teams putting together apps with data provided by Geostellar, NREL, Sun Number, Solar Nexus and Genability.

With just 24 hours, the hackers were told to build an app that focused on 1 of 3 themes:

  • Make going solar fun.
  • Make going solar cheaper.
  • Incorporate social media into the solar process (either buying solar or post install).

I was honored to judge the final projects alongside Victor Kane (Manager at the SunShot Initiative) and Eric Alderman (CEO of SolarNexus).

After an hour of presentations, the grand prize went to Greener, an app that allows individuals shopping for a new home to see the potential solar savings of various homes and compare.

Summary of the Apps:

  • Greener. Chrome extension that adds a pre-solar and post-solar savings estimate to your Zillow search. Before you buy a house, you’ll know the potential savings if you add solar.
  • Optimizyer. A client library that allows solar developers to compare various microinverters, modules and string inverters for the optimal system design.
  • EiValue. An app for home appraisers to use when valuing a home for a potential resell. The app will compare other solar homes in the neighborhood, as well as a cash flow analysis to accurately appraise the system when the home is being sold.
  • SunFun. A Facebook app to compare solar savings with your social network and compete for points.
  • LeaseX. Platform to streamline the lease transfer process when buying or selling a home that already has a leased solar system on it.
  • Spark. A social network of individuals who have gone solar or installed an energy efficiency project. Share ideas and reviews.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the event and we look forward to seeing how these projects progress.

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