Solaria Receives 2011 Breakthrough Award

Today, Popular Mechanics announced that Solaria Corporation, a solar module manufacturer, was honored as a winner at its annual Breakthrough Awards. Now in their seventh year, the Popular Mechanics breakthrough awards recognize leading individuals and products in the fields of technology, medicine, space exploration, automotive design, environmental engineering and more.

Solaria was acknowledged for its innovative photovoltaic solar panels. Solaria solar panels, which are used in large-scale tracking systems that follow the sun, employ new technology in a standard module size and shape. Solaria solar modules are robust and high performance while using significantly less silicon material than traditional panels.

The honorees were celebrated at a gala awards ceremony at Hearst Tower in New York City on Oct. 10.  Full descriptions of the winners will be published in the November issue of Popular Mechanics, available at newsstands on October 11.

“We’re thrilled to have Solaria’s solar panels honored by Popular Mechanics, a magazine that has a long history of bringing intelligence about technology to its readers,” said Solaria CEO Dan Shugar. “Our team has worked very hard developing a world class solar panel, and I look at this award as acknowledgment of their hard work, dedication, and drive for practical innovation.”

“From off-the-shelf blood vessels to a cell phone tower the size of a Rubik’s Cube, Solaria and our other Breakthrough Award winners not only capture the imagination, but hold the potential to improve lives and save the planet,”  said James B. Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. “We are pleased to honor this year’s diverse list of visionaries as they are shaping the future of innovation.”

Among this year’s honorees is director James Cameron, who will be given the Breakthrough Leadership Award for technological innovations that have forever changed filmmaking, as well as for his passionate pursuit of opening new worlds to physical exploration. The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity—and the team that engineered them—will receive a Mechanical Lifetime Achievement Award for overcoming great challenges in their dogged pursuit of new discoveries on the Red Planet.   The Next Generation Award will go to a team of high school students from West Philadelphia that builds super-high-mileage cars in an after-school program. Other honorees include the scientists and engineers behind a high-altitude wind turbine, a groundbreaking new spacecraft, a promising therapy for paralysis patients, and a glass powder capable of purifying toxic water.

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