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SfunCube Solar Hackathon: Friday April 17 6:30-8:30p and Saturday April 18 8:00am-9:00pm 

Are you a savvy developer, creative designer, or passionate about solar energy? Are you interested in winning $10,000 in cash prizes? Then come to the third annual SfunCube Solar Hackathon and hack the sun.

SfunCube accelerates the success of solar entrepreneurs. Two successful SfunCube solar startups - Powerhive and Utility API - emerged from previous SfunCube Solar Hackathons. We can’t wait to see what solar software, finance and design solutions are created this year.


At SfunCube’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



SfunCube's Solar Hackathon is generously sponsored by the 11th Hour Foundation, Enphase Energy, Sungevity, Sunrun, Hanergy, and Genability with special thanks to Nest. 



Network: SfunCube Hackathon 

Password: hackthesun

Nerdetails: Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz supported with the same SSID. Our wireless infrastructure will encourage clients to use 5GHz, but will allow 2.4GHz.



Friday April 17th

  • Happy Hour / Dinner 6:30-7:00 PM
  • Hack Introduction 7:00-7:30 PM 
  • Form Teams 7:30-8:30 PM  

Saturday April 18th

  • Breakfast 8:00-9:00 AM
  • (You may start hacking when you arrive - as early as 8am) 
  • Hacking 9:00-12:00 PM
  • Lunch 12:00-1:00 PM
  • Hacking 1:00-6:00 PM
  • Awards Welcome by Sponsors 6:00-6:15 PM
  • Pitches Round 1 6:15-7:00 PM
  • (Each team will have 2 min. to pitch w/ no Q&A)
  • Dinner 7:00-7:30 PM
  • Pitches Round 2 7:30-8:00 PM
  • (Six finalists will have 1 min. to summarize their pitch to judges w/ 4 mins Q&A from judges and the audience)
  • Happy Hour 8:00-8:30 PM
  • Winners Announced  8:30-9:00 PM  

All submission must be upload to ChallengePost by 6pm



SunRun Challenge: Determine from aerial imagery and parcel data the number of homes that do not have solar in a certain area, export list of address that do not have solar. From aerial imagery, and parcel data, automatically identify roof outlines/edges and vegetation. Other points to consider: measure of suitability for a particular home or set of homes for solar using weather/insolation data and also determine roof surfaces at some degree of accuracy.  

Enphase Challenge: Create an application that educates users about the benefits of solar energy. These benefits can be environmental, financial, and/or societal.  

Hanergy Challenge: Explore innovative ideas of applying thin-film solar to consumer products (i.e laptop case, wearables, electric skateboard, drone, etc.)  

CSIRO Challenge: Anecdotal evidence suggests that significant numbers of PV systems are offline at any time, and go unnoticed. Come up with a way to automatically identify shading or maintenance problems (short term failures, or long term degradation) on a solar array, that is inverter-agnostic, and can be retrofitted to existing systems. Possibilities include using AC or DC power data, or perhaps aerial imagery (including of temperatures).  

Genability Challenge: Create an app that shows attractive solar markets based on utilities with the highest electricity rates.    

Other Challenges:

  • Come up with a way to provide tailored cost-savings estimations to a potential PV purchaser. By using estimates of roof area and orientation, provide an estimate of PV generation profiles. Then, try to estimate the likely load profile of a particular house, based on whatever public or easily-achieved data is available. Once load and generation profiles are available, detailed energy savings estimates can then be prepared.
  • Investigate methods to identify individual energy loads in a house, based on whole-house power data. That is, is it possible to decompose detailed meter data from a house, to identify which items of equipment are operating and how much power they are using? Ideally, such a method could identify major items such as solar PV generation, air conditioning, how water and lighting loads, and how much power each of these is using, based on a single meter's data.
  • Solve the energy monitoring retrofit problem. How do you get PV performance data off millions of existing systems that don't have any existing metering/communications mechanism? Ideally, such a mechanism can be installed by the homeowner and will not need an electrician to attend the house (which is expensive). How do you power the monitoring system, and how accurate can you be without a hardwired voltage connection (that increases costs significantly)



Amazon Landsat Aerial Data/Maps:


Enphase Enlighten Systems API:

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.

Please see the Quick Start Guide for creating an account:


Please see the documentation for what endpoints are available:


Genability API:

Documentation site / documentation: 


Trial sign up:


National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Dept of Energy) APIs:

20+ Solar Datasets from NREL and DoE - https://energydemo.github.io/SolarDatasets/ 

City of Oakland Buildings Energy Billing History (via UtilityAPI w/ access token "hackathontoken")

Docs: https://utilityapi.com/api/docs/api.html

Example: https://utilityapi.com/api/services.json?access_token=hackathontoken



Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?

If you register as a student, your current student ID is required at sign in 

Who can participate? 

Anyone over 18 that wants to have fun by putting their software, design, and / or solar skills to use

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Ticket is yours and yours alone 

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No need to bring a paper ticket - save the trees 

What is the refund policy?

No refunds - sorry!  

The name on the registration/ticket doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay?

You must be registered in your name to attend  

Will I get a Hack the Sun T-shirt at the Solar Hackathon?

For sure 

Are there student discounts on tickets?

Yes. Please contact andrew@sfun.biz for more information. Limited quantities available.

The cost is prohibitive - are there scholarships available?

Yes. Please contact andrew@sfun.biz for more information.

What's the best size of a team?

Minimum 3 maximum 5 

Is there a rule to be followed for formation of team?

The most successful teams have at least one person from software, design and solar but it's up to you 

Can a member be part of more than one team?


Can a team work on multiple apps/ideas?

Teams can only submit one final idea to judges 

When can we start development?

Saturday morning at 8am 

Can we change team formation after registration?

Yes but teams must be set but Saturday at 8am when coding begins 

Will the relevant tools be made available during the hackathon?

Yes, data sets and API's are available 

Will I have internet connectivity at the venue?

Of course  

Will I have to be physically present in the event?

Indeed - Event runs Friday night 6:30-8:30pm and Saturday 8am-9pm 

How long will the registration be open?

Walk ins are welcome but only if online tickets are not yet sold out 

When will the winners be announced?

Pitches are Saturday April 18th at 6pm and awards are given at 8:30pm   

Who owns the software/project after the hackathon is over?

What you create is yours

Will there be food served at the event?

Yes, dinner on Friday and breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served on Saturday (veggie and gluten free options are available - we hear you Bay Area). We'll also also have the mandatory keg Friday and Saturday night 




Team Size: Minimum 3 - Maximum 5

Age: 18 and over 



You can submit between 5:30 and 6pm on Saturday April 18th. Be sure to include the following:

  1. A team name
  2. A team icon, image, or logo
  3. Upload the proposal onto ChallengePost between 5:30 - 6:00 PM on Saturday April 18th, 2015 
  4. Deliver a 2 minute pitch to judges with no Q&A time
  5. If your team is selected as one of six finalists, deliver a 5 minute pitch to judges with Q&A from the judges and audience 

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. Register on Eventbrite via SfunCube Solar Hackathon 

2. Register on ChallengePost

3. Come ready to hack the sun on Friday April 17th at 6:30pm at SfunCube in Oakland's uptown 


Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy
Judge, Cofounder, SfunCube and Sungevity

Bosco So

Bosco So
Judge, Presidential Innovation Fellow at U.S Department of Energy

Craig Tighe

Craig Tighe
Judge, Partner at DLA Piper

Allan Young

Allan Young
Mentor, Founder of Runway and Topline Incubator

Farshad Samimi

Farshad Samimi
Mentor, Product Management, Enphase Energy

Chris Hornor

Chris Hornor
Mentor, President & CEO, Powerhive

Steve Birndorf

Steve Birndorf
Mentor, Director of Commercial Development

Sloane Morgan

Sloane Morgan
Mentor, Customer Experience Officer, Sungevity

Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis
Mentor, Senior Product Manager, Enphase Energy

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?

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