Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Integrated Photovoltaics – Areas for the Energy Transformation

Integrating PV technology into building envelopes, vehicles and roads, as well as over agricultural fields and floating on water surfaces, capitalizes on surface areas with a tremendous potential for generating solar power.

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Digitalization: The Enabler and Driver of the Energy Transition

In the future energy system, digitalization is key for decentralization and flexibility as well as achieving energy and resource efficiency.

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Photovoltaics is a central pillar of the future energy supply from both an economical and ecological point of view.

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Energy Efficient Buildings

Energy efficiency in buildings plays a central role in climate protection. Currently the building sector in Germany is responsible for over 40% of the final energy demand.

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Solar Thermal Power Plants and Industrial Processes

Already today, concentrating solar thermal power plants (CSP) coupled with large thermal storage units provide dispatchable renewable electricity. Such systems show great potential for industrial systems, increasing efficiency and allowing more flexibility in the energy flows.

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Hydrogen Technologies and Electrical Energy Storage

Our R&D services address the generation, conversion and further thermo-chemical processing of hydrogen. In electrical energy storage, we offer R&D along the entire value chain: from materials, through the cell and module up to the complete battery system.

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Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems

We are working to optimize the interplay between efficient renewable energy generation, the security of supply, energy storage and stable grid operation.

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R&D for Energy Transition

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE creates the technological foundations for supplying energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialized, threshold and developing countries. With its research focusing on energy conversion, energy efficiency, energy distribution and energy storage, it contributes to the broad application of new technology.

Fraunhofer ISE develops materials, components, systems and processes in five business areas. In addition to its R&D, the institute offers testing and certification procedures. Furthermore, it features an excellent laboratory infrastructure and is certified according to the quality management standard, DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. Founded in 1981, Fraunhofer ISE, with a staff of over 1200, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.

Film Portrait

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Language: English | Length: 6:29 Min.

Current Press Releases


Press Release #22 / 29.8.2019

Fraunhofer ISE’s PV-TEC Pioneers New Technologies and Improves Solar Cell Efficiency

From industry-driven solar cells with efficiency values of more than 22 percent to effective new metallization processes for contacting solar cells — the PV-TEC at the Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg has enjoyed numerous technological successes. 


Press Release #18 / 4.7.2019

Utilizing Surfaces: Fraunhofer ISE to Present Integrated Photovoltaic Solutions at the EU PVSEC

From September 9 to 13, the Fraunhofer ISE will be at the EU PVSEC in Marseille (booth F 5) to introduce ideas and technologies for the successful integration of photovoltaics into the built environment.


Press Release #24 / 6.9.2019

Innovative Fine-Line Screen Printing Metallization Reduces Silver Consumption for Solar Cell Contacts

Together with their project partners, scientists at the Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center PV-TEC at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg have succeeded in improving the traditional screen printing process for the fine-line metallization of silicon solar cells. 


Press Release #23 / 2.9.2019

Fraunhofer ISE Presents Colored Solar Car Roof at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA)

The demand for electric vehicles is increasing worldwide. To extend the driving range, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed a solar car roof with highly efficient solar cells.

News and Events


5th International Symposium on Innovative Materials and Processes in Energy Systems

Kanazawa, Japan / 10/20/2019 - 10/23/2019


Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Chicago, USA / 10/28/2019 - 11/02/2019


New Multi-Megawatt Laboratory Demonstrates Operational Readiness with a 2.5 Megawatt Device under Test

In the future electricity grid, inverters must assume greater responsibility for the grid stability due to higher feed-in of fluctuating renewables. In Freiburg at the new multi-megawatt laboratory of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, power electronic devices are developed and tested according to these new functionalities. A few weeks after officially opening the new lab building in North Freiburg, a solar inverter with a nominal power of 2.5 megawatts and a maximum DC voltage of 1500 volts was tested in the accredited TestLab Power Electronics.
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Edmond Becquerel, Discoverer of the Photovoltaic Effect, to be honored at Symposium held on the 200th Anniversary of his Birthday

Photovoltaics is a young, commercially available clean energy technology, however, its origin goes back to 1839 when Edmond Becquerel first reported the effect of light on the generation of electric currents in matter. Today, photovoltaics has become a pillar of the energy system transformation. The symposium in recognition of Edmond Becquerel will be held on March 24, 2020 in Paris.
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2nd Workshop on “Raising the Lifetime of Functional Materials for Concentrated Solar Power Technology”

The 2nd workshop within the RAISELIFE project takes place on Thursday, 28 November in Düsseldorf, Germany. Among the speakers will be scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE who will talk about the durability of CSP mirrors and absorber coatings as well as the optimization of recoating intervals.
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Study: European Solar Industry Could Be Ready For a Comeback

Sufficient production capacity and a European supply chain would make vertically integrated photovoltaic production in Germany and the rest of Europe competitive. This was the conclusion of a study commissioned by the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) and carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. Researchers compared the costs of producing the leading technology based on surface-passivated monocrystalline silicon solar cells in Germany/Europe with production in China.
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14th Conference on Advanced Building Skins

Bern, Switzerland / 10/28/2019 - 10/29/2019

PVSEC-29 – International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference

Xi'an, China  /  11/04/2019  -  11/08/2019


Scientific Blog of Fraunhofer ISE


We want to share our expertise with you. The scientific blog of Fraunhofer ISE  »Innovation4E« offers a platform for information and exchange.

New Articles on Innovation4E:


“LiteFCBike”: Biking with a Fuel Cell

The LiteFCBike uses a fuel cell for the drive and thus differs from conventional e-bikes. Every bike can be retrofitted.   This year at the Hannover Trade Fair 2019, a system prototype for upgrading a conventional bike into an electric bike was presented for the first time. The special feature of this system is that a [...]
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New Film Portrait of Fraunhofer ISE

In Fraunhofer ISE’s new film portrait, the two institute directors, Prof. Hans-Martin Henning and Dr. Andreas Bett, present an overview of the current work at the research institute. “R&D for Energy Transition” – This motto of the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE has many facets. Located in Freiburg, Europe’s largest solar research institute [...]
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Digital Tool for the Electricity Grid: Forecasting Model to Determine the Power Output of PV Modules

As part of a research project, Dr. Sven Killinger developed a forecasting model that provides grid operators with data on the power output of PV systems in real-time. In the interview, he explains how it works. The cover of the Fraunhofer ISE’s newly released annual report shows a satellite image of a city with various [...]
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Net Electricity Production in Germany: How has it developed in the past ten years?

With a single glance, small changes often go unnoticed. Over a long period of time, however, many small changes can add up to make an enormous difference. Using the Fraunhofer ISE Energy Charts, we decreased the zoom factor and thus were able to compare the net electricity generation of the past ten years, from 2009 [...]
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