Modular solar tech delivers international award for Australia’s 5B


Sydney-based 5B’s contribution to the global solar energy industry has been recognised with its prefabricated and rapidly deployable Maverick solar system named as the winner of the clean tech category in the 2023 World Future Awards (WFA).

The Maverick system is a ground-mounted solar array of up to 90 pre-wired PV panels which are fitted to frames that can be unfolded accordion style. The frames come preassembled on concrete blocks that replace conventional mounting structures, allowing for rapid installation on site.

5B claimed a new record for solar deployment last year when two crews of 10 people deployed 1.1 MW in a single day at AES’ Andes solar farm in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

WFA said 5B’s Maverick solution is revolutionising the solar industry by “streamlining the installation process, reducing costs, and enhancing safety.”

“By making solar deployment faster, more cost-effective, and safer, 5B aims to accelerate access to low-cost, gigawatt-scale solar energy,” it said in a statement.

WFA said 5B is continuing to shape the future of the solar industry by integrating robotics and automation in both field deployment and factory-based assembly, alluding to the company’s commencement of construction of an Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Line (AMPL) which has been designed to fast-track the delivery of its Maverick solar arrays.

5B said once fully operational, the mostly automated manufacturing, assembly, and deployment process line is expected to produce a 50-70 kW solar array every 30 minutes with minimal labour.

5B co-founder Chris McGrath said the WFA award is recognition of the role the company’s technology is playing in the energy transformation.

“Speed is key to decarbonising economies and managing the increasing scarcity of resources – that’s our strength,” he said.

To date, 5B has deployed its technology across more than 140 sites worldwide, with a total generating capacity exceeding 70 MW.

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