Win $10k for a clean energy future by hacking the sun!

CSIRO Solar Hackathon 2016

Event details

08 Apr 2016

Friday 8 - Saturday 9 Apr 2016 Friday: 7:30pm - 10pm. Saturday: 8:00am - 10:00pm

CSIRO Energy Centre, 10 Murray Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West, Newcastle NSW 2304


from $20


Natalie Kikken, CSIRO - Energy. T: +61 (0) 249606179 E:

This event has occured.

Event description

This event is now sold out. However, you can still register to join the waiting list.

CSIRO Solar Hackathon 2016 #HACKTHESUN

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.

Why you should come

You will have the opportunity to team up with cutting-edge developers, creative designers and strategic business minds to help create innovative solutions to spread the solar message! You don't have to be a solar expert to join as you will have access to CSIRO mentors and experts to help bring your idea to life.

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

What is a hackathon?

Haven't heard of a Hackathon? Now's the time to jump on board. The CSIRO Solar Hackathon will present a challenge and you, together with some team mates, come up with a solution. You present your idea to a team of judges who then award up to $10,000 for the winning solutions. It's that easy (and fun!)

Our Solar Hackathon starts with a social welcome event from 7.30pm-10pm on Friday evening, 8 April, with hacking, presentations and awards from 8am-10pm on Saturday, 9 April.

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

Don't delay! Secure your spot, show us your skills and join in the fun at #hackthesun!

Frequently asked questions (PDF, 276 KB)


There is a total of $10,000 in prizes *generously donated by our sponsors. The prizes will be awarded to the top four winning solutions and distributed between team members.

  • 1st prize - $4k (plus tickets to the Clean Energy Council's Summit 2016)
  • 2nd prize - $3k
  • 3rd prize - $2k
  • People's Choice Award - $1k


You can bring your own ideas around solar or here are some ideas that you may want to work on:

  • 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.
  • Create accurate solar system energy estimations which fully quantify the dollar value to the end user for any potential PV system considering the type of solar technology, available roof area, orientation and generation and demand profiles.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Create a creative marketing campaign to increase public awareness of the benefits of solar energy. This can include PV, CST and flexible PV.
  • Solar panels can underperform or produce less energy under high temperatures. Explore methods to cool solar panels for better energy output.


Natalie Kikken
CSIRO - Energy
T: +61 (0) 249606179

Find out more

After registration, you will receive an Info Pack with everything that you need. Look out for it in your inbox closer to the event.
In the meantime, you can read about our amazing research in energy


CSIRO recognises the importance of collaboration and is excited to be working with a range of valued sponsors to support the Solar Hackathon. If you would like to join our growing list of sponsors, please get in touch with to discuss the sponsorship and branding packages available.



HCB Solar


eighteen 04


Clean Energy Council

Science area:

Renewables and energy


Exhibition or workshop