1st Place Winner - Take Charge

2nd Place Winner - Wala

3rd Place Winner - Micro Bid

People's Choice Award - Grid2Go

Thank you again for participating in the CSIRO Solar Hackathon 2016. We'll see you at the next one. Hack on!




7:30pm* Arrival and event registration

8pm – 8:30pm Welcome and speakers

8:30pm – 9pm Team formation
and rules

9pm – 10pm Team sign-ups and Devpost team registration

* Canapes and drinks will be served from 7.30pm – 9.30pm


8am Doors open and hacking begins

10am Morning tea

10:30am12pm Hacking

12pm12.30pm Lunch

12:30 – 3.30pm Hacking

3:30pm – 4pm Afternoon tea

6pm Submission deadline

6:15 pm Pitch to judges

7:30pm Speakers

6:45pm 8.30pm Dinner

8.30pm 10pm Winners announced and celebration


How does $10,000* in cash prizes sound? What about the chance to work with the brightest minds in Australia by creating your own solar start-up in less than 24 hours?

Join CSIRO for our first ever Solar Hackathon on Friday 8 April and Saturday 9 April 2016 at the CSIRO Energy Centre Newcastle, home to solar innovation and research.

If you are a savvy developer, creative designer, researcher or simply keen on solar, we want to hear your ideas! You could win up to $10,000 in cash prizes so come along and help solve the world's solar challenges.

CSIRO, Australia’s national scientific research agency has partnered with Powerhouse (formerly SfunCube), a Silicon Valley based incubator dedicated to solar and the brains behind two highly successful Solar Hackathons to bring the Hackathon fever to Newcastle, Australia.

Why you should come

At CSIRO’s Solar Hackathon you will:

  1. Get to know people with similar skills and passions
  2. Network with solar software, finance and design leaders
  3. Have fun doing what you love while competing for $10,000 in cash prizes
  4. Receive your very own Hack the Sun t-shirt and mug

Two successful Powerhouse solar startups - Powerhive and UtilityAPI - emerged from previous Solar Hackathons so we can't wait to see what solar software, finance, and design solutions are created this year at CSIRO.

The fun kicks off on Friday 8 April from 7.30pm-10pm with a welcome event followed by hacking, presentations and awards on Saturday 9 April from 8am-10pm.


1. The way people use energy is influenced by air-conditioning, solar systems, electric vehicles and batteries. To avoid electricity system upgrades and overloading, identify a low cost solution to accurately predict energy use and to manage demand – taking in to consideration energy, weather and demographics. Create a consumer engagement strategy for your solution.

2. Create solar power estimations and identify cost savings for a potential PV buyer considering the roof area, orientation and generation profiles. Determine the likely load profile of a particular house using publicly available data. More details here.

3. Identify a low-cost cleaning solution for large numbers of tightly packed solar PV systems or heliostats (computer-controlled mirrors that keeps the sun reflected on panels).

4. Concentrated solar thermal (CST) can be effected by external weather factors such as wind. Create an application or tool that can be attached to the heliostat mirrors to measure and track movement, increase performance assessment and improve energy yield. Options could include optical cameras or photodiodes.

5. Create a creative marketing campaign to increase public awareness of the benefits of solar energy. This can include PV, CST and flexible PV.

6. Solar panels can underperform or produce less energy under high temperatures. Explore methods to cool solar panels for better energy output.

7. Homeowners say that they want to use energy more efficiently, but spending patterns indicate otherwise. Comfort, convenience, security and entertainment rank far above energy in the minds and wallets of consumers. Create an application that engages consumers emotionally to improve the adoption of solar and battery storage. Consider social integration points as well as how to express the benefits of solar in an accessible and engaging way!

Datasets / API's

MERRA: Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications

NASA Surface meteorology and Solar Energy

AURIN: Australia’s urban intelligence network (centralised source of geo-datasets)

BoM one Minute Solar Data

Air-conditioner location running hours data

GovHACK: Datasets from 2015

Enphase Enlighten Systems API: Quick Start Guide
This API delivers energy production data from PV systems that use Enphase microinverters. A subset of these systems are available for use during the hackathon.



Read the Frequently Asked Questions

*Solar Hackathon prize money has been generously donated by our sponsors.


Team Size: Minimum of 3 - Maximum of 5

During our welcome event on Friday evening 8 April, we encourage you to team up with individuals with different skill sets (software, design, product dev) and work on a challenge that everybody wants to solve.

If you are a CSIRO staff member, you need to team up with non-CSIRO staff to help support and faciliate team collaboration and networking.

Age: 18 and over 


You need to submit by 6:00pm on Saturday 9 April. Be sure to include the following:

  1. A team name
  2. A team icon, image, or logo
  3. Upload the proposal onto DevPost before 6:00pm on Saturday 9 April, 2016
  4. Deliver a 2-3 minutes pitch to judges

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,000 in prizes

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

Peoples Choice Award

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

1. Purchase your tickets here (www.csiro.au/solarhackathon)

2. Create a profile on DevPost before the start of the Hackathon (you will need a profile before submitting your ideas on 9 April)


Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy
CoFounder, Sungevity & Powerhouse Managing Partner, CalCEF

Renate Egan

Renate Egan
Chair, Australian PV Institute

Rhett Morson

Rhett Morson
Managing Director, Da Vinci Capital

Riccardo Pagliarella

Riccardo Pagliarella
Technology Lead, Telstra Energy

Michelle Taylor

Michelle Taylor
Manager of Technology Development, Ergon

Kenrick Anderson

Kenrick Anderson
CSIRO (Mentor)

Kate Cavanagh

Kate Cavanagh
CSIRO (Mentor)

Dan Rowe

Dan Rowe
CSIRO (Mentor)

John Ward

John Ward
CSIRO (Mentor)

Dan Linsell

Dan Linsell
CSIRO (Mentor)

Stuart Johnston

Stuart Johnston
ENA (Mentor)

Steph Hinds

Steph Hinds
GrowthWise (Mentor)

John Laird

John Laird
Solar Analytics (Mentor)

Peter Pudney

Peter Pudney
UNISA (Mentor)

Andrew Mears

Andrew Mears
SwitchDin (Mentor)

James Crowther

James Crowther
CSIRO (Mentor)

Claire Ginn

Claire Ginn
CSIRO (Mentor)

Judging Criteria

  • Mission
    How well does the application address the goals defined for this challenge?
  • Quality
    How creative, innovative, interesting, and unique is the application in meeting contest requirements?
  • Implementation
    How well is the idea executed by the developer and how well is the app integrated with potential customers or systems?
  • User Experience
    Includes design, user functionality, graphics, typography, ease of use, and visual aesthetic
  • Potential Impact
    To what extent will the submission impact the solar industry?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

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