Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

RESolis - Circular Solar Economy

What is the name of your solution?

RESolis - Circular Solar Economy

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

RESolis is an innovative platform of Circular Solar Economy to boost the inclusive energy transition through the reuse of photovoltaic solar modules in vulnerable communities.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Solar energy is growing fast in Brazil - over 60% last year. Last year, it became the country's second most used type of electrical energy. However, two main problems remain. One is the final destination of these solar modules - IRENA estimates that by 2050 there will be more than 700 thousand tons of discarded photovoltaic modules in the country. Another problem is that currently in Brazil, 30% of the population receives monthly ⅓ of the minimum wage, 11% of brazilian households still live in conditions of energy poverty, and in rural areas this number reaches 16%. Also, over 1 million people still don't have access to energy. The Sustainable Development Goal number 7 is to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. To achieve this goal means more than just connecting people to power. In Brazil, it means focusing on inclusiveness, which implies prioritizing support for populations living under conditions of social fragility, while promoting access and affordability of renewable energy.

In Japan a study showed that approximately 67% of the discarded modules in the country could be reused (IEA PVPS, 2022) - 3,400 tons of modules from 4,400 tons that were generated in 2020. These numbers indicate that there is a possible secondary market for PV models that can represent an opportunity to bring energy access to a wider group of consumers, going for two aspects of the SDG 7 targets: energy access and more renewable energy. Data from the CircuSol project show that 13 GW of solar power can be provided by second life solar panels in Europe by 2030.

ReSolis team saw the opportunity to solve these problems by exploring circular economy principles, Reuse and Recycling. The project’s main objective is to research the technical and economical aspects of the second life PV in the brazilian context, stablish a testing methodology, study business models and provide a platform to unite supply and demand to create a Circular Solar Economy to benefit vulnerable communities in Brazil.


What is your solution?

Considering the exponential growth of solar energy in Brazil and the energy poverty situation in the country, RESolis proposes a circular economic model, through the second life of PV modules for vulnerable communities. The pioneering project of Second Life of Solar Modules (RESolis) was born in the Photovoltaic laboratory of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (FV-UFSC).

The university has donated 76 units of modules that generated energy in an isolated system on the island of Ratones (a small island around Florianópolis island) for the past 21 years. These solar PV modules that otherwise would be discarded are already being tested individually. 

After the results of the tests, the modules that have more than 60% of efficiency will be forwarded to their second life in different pilot applications, such as distributed generation, pilots in public illumination and in vulnerable communities. The methodology used for testing will be standardized and will be published for future use and to serve as a basis for the establishment of national guidelines. The communities involved will receive training to understand the technology, its benefits and proper disposal.

Alongside these activities, a research around the potential market, offer, demand and business models of second life PV will take place. These research and pilot projects will help create groundwork for the Resolis platform, which aims to connect the PV offer (PV power plants owners) and demand (final consumers, social projects, municipalities). One other important activity of the project and the Resolis platform  is to centralize information and to provide training to educate stakeholders on current end-of-life options.

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Brazil has a scenario of energy poverty - around 1 million people still do not have access to electricity. Currently, 212 locations, mostly in the Amazon region, are isolated from the integrated electricity system and thus, the energy for these communities is mostly supplied by diesel oil thermal plants (high GHG emissions). In Brazil 11% of families live in conditions of energy poverty, and in rural areas this number reaches 16%. Also, over 1 million people still don't have access to energy. In addition to these situations, more than 30% of the Brazilian population live in vulnerable financial conditions and do not have access to Solar Energy due to the high costs of the system.

Even with a scenario of energy poverty, the country has solar energy as the second largest source of electricity as of 2023. According to IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), approximately 750 thousand tons of photovoltaic modules will be discarded in Brazil by 2050. Through circular economy, these discarded PV modules could be tested and reenter the value chain. These actions would avoid waste generation, promote a fair energy transition and benefit vulnerable families. Access to clean energy brings quality of life to many communities that do not have lighting or financial resources to buy a new solar system. In urban areas, second life PV modules can also be used to light up streets and public spaces providing increased security in communities where organized crime undermines their quality of life.

The project aims to establish a baseline and a methodology for reuse of PV modules in Brazil. This circular economy approach for solar energy can create opportunities of social inclusion and income generation, promoting, in addition to an extender life cycle of materials, also greater circularity and distribution of opportunities and financial resources.

Painéis solares tiram comunidades amazônicas da escuridão

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Circular solar economy is still in its first stage in Brazil. In order to bring data and credibility to the second life PV market, a connection to well established institutions in the PV sector is essential. Two of our main project team members, Marinna Pivatto and Laís Vidotto are researchers at Fotovoltaica UFSC laboratory (, which is one of the most important institutions on solar energy research in the country. This makes the team well positioned in the energy sector, and already made it possible to create connections for the project with possible future stakeholders, such as Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), the only active recycling PV business, SunR, and large solar contractors and distributors (Voltalia, Neoenergia, Copel and others).

In 1996, when solar energy was still a technology distant from Brazilian reality, Fotovoltaica installed the first build-integrated system connected to the grid in the country. The project, with 65 PV modules, is still operating in the building of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at the main campus of the UFSC in Florianópolis. The laboratory has worked in many pioneer projects, regarding solar power plants and performance, electromobility, energy storage, among other areas. Also, Fotovoltaica has worked with numerous partners, whether public or private, companies or institutions, such as: Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC); National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL); Instituto IDEAL; Electric Power Plants of Santa Catarina (CELESC); ENGIE Brasil; WEG; Mercedes; Marcopolo; Itaipu.

In addition to the expertise of the Fotovoltaica UFSC team, we are also partnering with the non-profit organization Revolusolar, which has large experience working with renewable energy and social impact projects in Brazil. Revolusolar has been a key player in promoting solar energy access in low-income communities and advocating for public policies to support sustainable energy initiatives. They will bring a valuable perspective and knowledge of community engagement to our project.

We are fortunate to have Eduardo Ávila, Director at Revolusolar, as one of our team members. Eduardo is an Economist, a renewable energy expert and Director of Revolusolar. He has extensive experience working on solar energy projects in Brazil and has been involved in developing community-led initiatives. Eduardo's expertise in renewable energy, combined with his deep understanding of the local context, will be invaluable in guiding our project's implementation and ensuring that it is meaningful and impactful for the communities we are serving.

Fotovoltaica Laboratory in Brazil (UFSC) and one of Revolusolar's projects 


Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Support informal communities in upgrading to more resilient housing, including financing, design, and low-carbon materials or energy sources.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

The RESolis’ headquarter is located in Florianópolis, SC, with pilots in Florianópolis and Rio de Janeiro, RJ.

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • Brazil

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model, but which is not yet serving anyone

Please share details about what makes your solution a Prototype rather than a Concept.

76 PV modules that worked for 22 years were donated for research that is already underway at the Fotovoltaica UFSC. These modules are being tested and the ones that are in good condition (over 60% of efficiency) and that pass a validation protocol that is also being developed, will be reinstalled in a prototype in the laboratory for reuse and further monitoring. 

The second stage is repeating the protocol with other PV modules and exploring business models and different applications of the second life PV modules to generate social impact. The second and the third stages are the parts of the project that are the main focus of the Solve application. The ReSolis team plans on installing second life PV modules in households in vulnerable communities, in lighting poles, with modules and batteries for electric vehicles, both in their second-life. The prototypes will be tested and installed in vulnerable communities near the city of Florianópolis, where security is currently a priority issue.

The third step is the creation of an online platform, which aims to connect supply and demand for Second Life solar modules. In other words, companies that have modules for disposal (supply) are connected to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), projects and social programs (demand). The platform then manages this connection and takes the necessary steps to ensure reuse, such as tests, module classification and pricing.

The prototype of the platform can be accessed by this link: 

How many people does your solution currently serve?


Why are you applying to Solve?

The project team has set a clear goal to apply for a unique opportunity that could help them in several areas. One of the primary objectives is to find partners in other countries to share experiences, knowledge, and expertise. This will enable the team to learn from the best practices of other organizations, to gain new insights, and to create new opportunities for collaboration.

Additionally, the team is seeking mentoring to develop business models. This will help them to refine their business ideas, strategies, and plans, and to ensure they are aligned with their vision and goals. By receiving guidance and support from experienced mentors, the team will be able to make more informed decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and increase their chances of success.

Another key objective is to leverage technology to improve the project's platform and connect with more people and companies in Brazil. With the right technology, the team will be able to expand their reach, increase their impact, and create more value for their users. This could include features such as improved user interfaces, better data analytics, and enhanced communication tools.

In summary, the project's goal is to apply for a unique opportunity that will provide them with the help they need to achieve their objectives. By finding partners in other countries, receiving mentoring to develop their business models, and leveraging technology to improve their platform, the project team is poised to make a significant impact in Brazil and beyond.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business Model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

My name is Marinna Pivatto and I seek knowledge and initiatives that aim to reduce the impact of our society on the planet. I am an Industrial Engineer working with project management and process optimization for 10 years and I am currently a researcher at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) on Circular Economy for Solar Energy. After working as a Renewable Energy Project Analyst, I am now dedicating my time to research a challenge which the Brazilian solar energy sector will face in the near future: What will be the destination of the solar photovoltaic modules after the repowering of the systems? Over the years, I have worked as Project Manager on Site on the following construction projects: • 10MW photovoltaic power plant, in Montes Claros - 2021 • 5MW photovoltaic power plant, in Marabá - 2020 • 230kW photovoltaic power plant, in Uruguaiana - 2020 • 2,5MW photovoltaic power plant, in Minas Gerais - 2019 • Fecomercio Complex, in Porto Alegre - 2018 • University Campus of Unisinos, in Porto Alegre - 2017 Some of my professional skills are: • Problem-solving ability and strong sense of urgency; • Thorough understanding of all project management control systems (scheduling, cost control, procurement and estimating); • Project Management Software’s (MS Project, Excel, Asana..) I am doing this project because I truly believe that Photovoltaic Solar Energy and Circular Economy (CE) are intrinsically sustainable. The exponential growth in the use of PV panels throughout the world presents a problem, also exponential, of increasing electronic waste. On the other hand, the potential of new business models, such as the use of second life PV panels are now possible. My research aims to evaluate the technical conditions of PV modules discarded by large Solar Power Plants in order to provide data for the creation of an economically and environmentally sustainable model that involves the reuse of PV panels. Considering the principles of circular economy, this research expects to expand knowledge on this subject to avoid waste of resources which, even without maximum performance, can still have added value for the secondhand market and society.

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

The solution of this project is innovative as it assists in the energy transition due to the cost reduction of the Reuse system. It expands the possibility of financial viability of social projects. It transforms an environmental liability into a solution that contributes to a more just energy transition, making technology accessible and prolonging the life cycle of the material.

The project in question presents an innovative and impactful solution for the energy transition. This is because one of its main benefits is the cost reduction of the Reuse system, which significantly expands the possibility of financial viability of social projects. This solution, therefore, contributes to democratizing access to technology, making it more accessible and viable for a greater number of people.

In addition, the solution offered by the project also has a significant positive impact on the environment. This is because, by transforming an environmental liability into a solution, it contributes to a more just and sustainable energy transition. Thus, the project has an important role in promoting sustainable development and reducing environmental impact.

Another important advantage of the solution presented by the project is that it prolongs the life cycle of the material. This means that, instead of prematurely discarding materials and resources, they are reused and used for a longer time, which reduces waste and increases system efficiency. In addition, prolonging the life cycle of materials also has a positive impact on the economy, as it reduces the need for new investments in materials and resources.

In summary, the solution offered by the project is innovative and has a significant impact on various aspects, from cost reduction and expansion of financial viability to the promotion of sustainability and resource efficiency. All of this contributes to a more just, accessible, and sustainable energy transition.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

The solution involves a multi-step process that aims to maximize the reuse of PV modules and extend their lifecycle. The first step, which is currently under development at the Fotovoltaica UFSC laboratory, involves carrying out electrical tests and creating a validation protocol to ensure that the modules can be reused.

The second stage of the solution involves the installation of lighting and monitoring poles equipped with cameras, PV modules, and second-life batteries for electric vehicles. Prototypes of these installations will be tested and installed in an indigenous community near the city of Florianópolis, where security is a critical issue due to the community's isolation and the lack of police intervention. The solution is expected to not only provide access to clean and affordable energy for the community but also contribute to improving security and reducing vandalism and theft.

The third step of the solution is the creation of an online platform that connects companies with used PV modules (supply) to NGOs, projects, and social programs in need of such modules (demand). The platform aims to ensure that the supply meets the demand by managing the connection and taking the necessary steps to ensure reuse, such as tests, module classification, and pricing.

Overall, the solution aims to promote the circular economy by extending the lifecycle of PV modules and promoting their reuse in needy communities. It also addresses social and environmental challenges by providing clean and affordable energy and contributing to improving security in vulnerable communities. The development of an online platform also provides a scalable solution that can be replicated in other communities and regions

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Commissioning tests for photovoltaic (PV) modules are essential to ensure that the installed system is operating safely and efficiently. In the project, the KPI are the result of commissioning tests that are being performed on PV modules. All results can be combined and analyzed to define if the PV Module can or not be reused. The test are:

Insulation resistance test: This test measures the insulation resistance of the PV modules and the wiring to ensure that there are no electrical faults or short circuits.

Temperature coefficient test: This test measures the change in the module's performance with temperature. This test can help to verify that the PV module is performing within the expected temperature range.

Electroluminescence test: This test can help to detect defects in the PV module by taking images of the module in the dark with an electrical charge applied to it.

Finally the IV (Current-Voltage) curve test, that is a critical test that is performed on photovoltaic (PV) modules to evaluate their electrical performance. The test involves measuring the current and voltage output of the PV module at different levels of illumination and temperature.

The IV curve test is being performed using a specialized test equipment called an IV curve tracer, which applies a range of load resistances to the PV module and measures the resulting current and voltage output. The test is being performed in the field.

The results of the IV curve test are used to assess the electrical performance of the PV module and to identify any defects or performance issues. The test results can also be used to compare the performance of different PV modules and to optimize the design and operation of PV systems.

These tests are being carried out by a qualified engineer with experience in commissioning PV systems, Eng. Marinna Pivatto. The results of the tests are being documented and compared with the manufacturer's specifications to ensure that the PV module is operating correctly.

After reinstalling the PV modules that passed in technical tests, there will be three KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will be used to measure the performance of energy and sustainability-related of that project. 

Number of people impacted: This KPI measures how many people were directly impacted by the renewable energy project. This can include employees, customers, members of the local community, among others.

Energy generated: This KPI measures the total amount of energy generated by the renewable energy second life project. This can be measured in kWh (kilowatt-hour) or other units of energy.

Emissions avoided: This KPI measures the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are avoided due to the use of renewable energy as second life compared to other sources of energy. This can be measured in tons of CO2 equivalent.


What is your theory of change?

Our theory of change is that by applying a circular business model to test and reuse PV modules in needy communities, we can address the problem of energy poverty in a sustainable and impactful way. Our solution aims to create a closed-loop system that reduces waste, promotes environmental sustainability, and improves access to clean and affordable energy for disadvantaged communities.

To achieve this, our activities include collecting used PV modules, testing and refurbishing them, and redistributing them to needy communities at affordable prices. By providing access to affordable and reliable energy, we expect to see immediate outputs such as improved health and safety, increased economic opportunities, and enhanced quality of life for the target population.

Over the longer term, we expect to see more significant outcomes. These may include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy security, and improved social and economic development for the target communities. We believe that by creating a sustainable business model that promotes circularity and social impact, we can contribute to a more just and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy.

To support our theory of change, we have conducted extensive research, including third-party studies, process and impact evaluations, and data from interviews with our target population. We have used this evidence to inform the design and implementation of our solution, and we believe that it provides strong support for the logical links between our activities, outputs, and outcomes.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

RESolis aims to address the problem of energy poverty in Brazil through a circular economic model that repurposes discarded photovoltaic (PV) modules for vulnerable communities. Our core technology involves the testing and repurposing of second-life PV modules, as well as the development of a platform that connects supply and demand for these modules.

The Resolis platform will serve as a digital hub for all stakeholders in the second life PV market, including PV power plant owners, final consumers, social projects, and municipalities. This platform will also provide accessible content and interactive reports to increase awareness and accessibility of renewable energy for vulnerable communities.

In addition, RESolis plans to pilot a new business model in the sector called "product as a service" (PaaS) with the second-life PV modules. This model involves leasing the modules to customers for a period of time rather than selling them outright. This approach can help make PV systems more accessible to communities with limited financial resources, as well as create opportunities for income generation and social inclusion.

Furthermore, the platform will provide accessible content and interactive reports to educate stakeholders on the benefits of renewable energy and the circular economy. This content will be available in multiple formats, including online platforms, interactive reports, and accessible documents.

Overall, RESolis is leveraging both traditional and modern technologies to address the problem of energy poverty in Brazil and promote a more sustainable future.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Behavioral Technology

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Brazil

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Brazil
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?


How many people work on your solution team?

2x Full-time staff, 3x part-time staff, and 1x contractors and 2x Advisor

How long have you been working on your solution?

3 years

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

At Resolis, we are committed to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into our work in several ways. Firstly, we recognize that the lack of access to renewable energy disproportionately affects marginalized and low-income communities. Therefore, we aim to democratize access to renewable energy by providing an online platform that connects the supply and demand of second-life photovoltaic modules. We also strive to create content that is accessible and easy to understand, particularly for those who face barriers to accessing information on clean energy.

In terms of our team, we value diversity and believe that it is a key driver of innovation. We are actively working to increase the diversity of our team, particularly in terms of representation from marginalized groups. 

To further our commitment to equity, we are testing a new business model called "product as a service," which allows individuals to access renewable energy without the upfront costs of purchasing solar panels. This model can provide a more equitable and affordable solution for those who face financial barriers to accessing renewable energy.

Lastly, we strive to create an inclusive environment where all team members are welcomed, respected, supported, and valued. We encourage open communication and feedback, and regularly assess our practices to ensure that they align with our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

The business model for the solution of applying a circular model to test and reuse PV modules in needy communities involves several key components. First, the organization collects used PV modules from various sources and tests them for quality and reliability. Second, the PV modules are refurbished and maintained to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Third, the organization redistributes the refurbished PV modules to needy communities at affordable prices or through partnerships with local organizations, social enterprises, or governments.

Revenue streams for the organization may include the sales of refurbished PV modules, maintenance services, and partnerships with organizations that share their vision and values. The organization may also explore additional revenue streams such as consulting, training, and education services related to circular economy and renewable energy.

Impact measurement is a key component of the organization's business model, and they will measure the social and environmental impact of their solution using metrics such as the number of PV modules collected, refurbished, and redistributed, the amount of energy generated, the greenhouse gas emissions avoided, and the number of people who benefit from improved access to clean and affordable energy.

By adopting this circular business model, the organization aims to create a sustainable and scalable solution that promotes social and environmental impact while generating revenue streams that ensure the long-term viability of their solution.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Our plan for becoming financially sustainable includes a combination of revenue streams, partnerships, and collaborations. We aim to partner with municipalities, governments, and organizations that support the development of solar energy in Brazil to leverage their resources and networks to reach more communities and individuals.

Also, through the product-as-a-service approach, in partnership with Community Energy and Energy Cooperative innitiatives, we aim to provide customers with access to high-quality second-life photovoltaic modules through a subscription-based model. This will enable us to generate recurring revenue and ensure the modules are being properly reused, rather than discarded prematurely.

In addition to this, we plan to establish a certification program, the SolarCircular Seal, for companies that commit to responsible end-of-life management of their photovoltaic modules. We will charge a fee for companies to earn this seal, which will serve as a mark of environmental responsibility and social impact. We will also offer training and certification programs for individuals and companies interested in learning how to repurpose photovoltaic modules for second-life applications.

Finally, one other possible future way is to pursue grant funding and strategic partnerships with organizations that share our vision and mission. We believe that these combined revenue streams will allow us to cover our expenses and achieve financial sustainability in the long term, while also promoting our commitment to environmental sustainability and social impact.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

At Resolis, we have been successful in building partnerships and collaborations with organizations that support the development of solar energy in Brazil. For instance, we have established connections with prominent dissemination channels in Brazil and with the only PV recycling company in the country. Additionally, our affiliation with the Fotovoltaica UFSC Laboratory allows us to access longstanding partners - which are the major players in the solar energy industry and prominent solar energy associations. We have also been actively engaged in discussions with NGOs and companies in the sector to explore further partnerships and collaborations. We are in our path towards financial sustainability and proud of the progress we have made so far. We believe that our partnerships and collaborations will continue to play a crucial role in achieving our financial sustainability goals. 

Solution Team

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