Sopogy’s Innovative SopoApps 2008 Contest Tackles Global Problems
SopoApps Creates Solutions for the Applications Challenge
By Zeina Jafar
In the solar thermal industry a key problem behind technology adoption is the lack of available knowledge in applications engineering. This is an industry that has historically been extremely fragmented and traditional engineering favors conventional fossil fuel technologies. “The World needs unique solutions to fight green house gas emissions, and MicroCSP technologies are one of the best weapons in this battle. The technology is reliable, quick to install and a proven alternative to burning natural gas and oil. We now need the best engineers to bring MicroCSP technologies to their applications and projects. SopoApps is designed to do exactly this,” said Darren T. Kimura, CEO of Sopogy, Inc.
Similar to Apple, and AutoCad who early in their adoption cycle created developer communities, Sopogy created SopoApps, an on-line community of the best solar, HVAC and thermal engineers. Sopogy is seeking to find, educate and create a community of the best engineers to design applications using MicroCSP technologies. To help accelerate the growth of this community and the adoption and installation of MicroCSP solar technologies, Sopogy is sponsoring “SopoApps 2008,”or Solar Power Applications, an annual skills contest for HVAC, Plumbing and Solar engineers. The contest challenges engineers to design practical installations using MicroCSP solar technologies in 10 categories including: Process Heating, Thermal Air Conditioning, Industrial, Commercial, Agriculture, Hospitality, Health Care, Power, Water and Innovation.
As with any disruptive technology, the key is application and Sopogy is looking to the independent developers to help create tools that enable access to the MicroCSP solution to all users. Consequently, all designs submitted to SopoApps 2008 will be open-sourced and posted online at SopoApps.org. Sopogy is also sponsoring a cash prize for the best applications submitted to the Contest. Judging will be conducted by an independent panel of industry experts and the winners in each of the 10 categories will receive $5,000.00 each for a total of $50,000 in total cash prizes.
“The goal of SopoApps is to justify there’s a credible industry supporting solar applications aside of the headline solar farms we read about. We all know there are numerous hobbyist and a few vocal engineers but in order for us to make solar thermal technologies a reality, we need to demonstrate that there’s a demand and ability to meet that demand. I’m hoping that we can develop a community, similar to what Apple did with their independent community of developers, which help to make Solar a reality. Plus I thought the contest would be fun and get people talking,” said Kimura.
With global warming and energy issues now a worldwide problem, SopoApps is designed to become a community for the World’s best engineers to help build the future of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. To achieve the goal of building the Solar Power Application community, SopoApps will host its annual skills contests, forums, events, and form partnerships with groups such as the National Society of Professional Engineers. The philosophy is to share best practices, develop and distribute system templates to the public free of license, and train and educate all engineers who want to become a part of the solution. “By working together and arming engineers with technologies and knowledge, we can bring clean energy solutions to market today,” said Kimura.
For more information on how to join the community of solar enthusiasts and to compete in SopoApps 2008 please visit www.sopoapps.org.