Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

R&D for Energy Transition

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany is the largest solar research institute in Europe. With a staff of about 1400, we are committed to promoting a sustainable, economic, secure and socially just energy supply system based on renewable energy sources. We contribute to this through our main research areas of energy provision, energy distribution, energy storage and energy utilization. Through outstanding research results, successful industrial projects, spin-off companies and global collaborations, we are shaping the sustainable transformation of the energy system.

In the market-oriented business areas of Photovoltaics: Materials, Cells and Modules​, Photovoltaics:​ Production Technology and TransferSolar Power Plants and Integrated PhotovoltaicsElectrical Energy​ StoragePower Electronics and GridsClimate-Neutral​ Heat and BuildingsHydrogen Technologies as well as System Integration, the Institute develops materials, components, systems and processes. For this purpose, we have an excellent laboratory infrastructure at our disposal. In addition, we perform analyses, carry out studies, provide consultations and offer our clients testing and certification procedures. Fraunhofer ISE is certified according to the quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 and according to the standard DIN EN ISO 50001:2018 for energy management.


Fraunhofer ISE -
Annual Report 2023/24

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Fraunhofer ISE - Newsletter

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Current Press Releases


Press Release #15 / 19.6.2024

Fraunhofer ISE Goes with Medium Voltage for Resource Efficiency in PV Plants

Fraunhofer ISE is planning first PV power plants based on medium voltage technology and is aiming for a broad market launch together with industry.


Press Release #14 / 18.6.2024

Massive Cuts in Research Funding Hamper Innovations for the Energy Transition

Fraunhofer-Group »Energy Technologies and Climate Protection« is warning of a massive decline in German industry's ability to innovate in technologies for the energy transition.


Press Release #12 / 4.6.2024

Heat Pump with Propane Refrigeration Circuit Developed for Industrial Applications

 A team from Fraunhofer ISE integrated a heat pump with propane refrigeration circuit into an industrial cleaning machine, leading to savings in electricity and CO2


Press Release #11 / 15.4.2024

Status Quo - One Year Since Germany’s Nuclear Exit: Renewable Capacity Expands, Electricity from Fossil Fuels Significantly Reduced

On the first anniversary of the phase-out, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE takes stock.

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News and Events


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Optimally Tracked PV Systems with Deep Learning

Photovoltaic systems equipped with solar trackers show a 20 to 30 percent gain in energy yield compared to fixed ground-mounted systems. Besides this, the layout design and alignment can take other criteria into account, such as the light requirements of certain plant varieties underneath agrivoltaic and biodiversity-PV systems or also the grid feed-in at certain times of the day. In the research project "DeepTrack", Zimmermann PV-Tracker GmbH, part of the Zimmermann PV-Steel Group, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE are improving tracking algorithms with a digital twin that uses deep learning to calculate optimized control approaches. Among other things, the digital twin learns from the data of its “real” twin, a PV tracker built by Zimmermann PV-Tracker, which is located at the Fraunhofer ISE’s Outdoor Performance Lab in Merdingen near Freiburg.
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Circular Water Strategies in Solar Cell Manufacturing Could Realize Potential Water Savings of up to 79 Percent

Researchers from the Technical University of Berlin, Rena Technologies GmbH, and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Building Physics IBP and for Solar Energy Systems ISE have for the first time created a comprehensive model of the water flows in a solar cell factory with a production capacity of 5 gigawatts (5GWp) per year. Using this model as basis, they tested the introduction of two different strategies for circular water use. The results show that a reduction of up to 79 percent in the water consumption and up to 84 percent in the wastewater is already technically possible with today's production technologies. This would mean that the construction of new solar cell factories in locations with less water availability are also feasible. The study is freely accessible in the latest issue of Solar Energy.
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Fraunhofer ISE Successfully Produces TOPCon Solar Cell with 24 Percent Efficiency in M10 Format

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is the first European research institute to switch to large-area M10 silicon wafers. A TOPCon solar cell immediately achieved a very good efficiency of 24.0 percent. This result was presented for the first time at the 20th Photovoltaic Technology Advisory Board Meeting of Fraunhofer ISE.
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Solar Potential on Electric Vehicles within Europe

In the foreseeable future, the majority of vehicles on European roads will be electric. Since the beginning of 2023 a European consortium of experts has been investigating to what extent the expansion of vehicle-integrated solar would affect the electricity requirements of an electrified vehicle fleet. Participating in the consortium are the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO; the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE as well as three on-board solar technology system suppliers for vehicles; Sono Motors, Lightyear Layer and IM Efficiency. The SolarMoves project, commissioned by the Department for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) of the European Commission, aims to quantitatively assess solar electricity generation on vehicle bodies and its impact on the future charging infrastructure in Europe. As part of the project, some 20 vehicles that drive throughout Europe have been equipped with mobile irradiance sensors. They are to collect real data that will be used to validate the energy yield models developed by the researchers.
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Current Posts from "Innovation4E", the Research Blog of Fraunhofer ISE


Bruno Burger / 15.4.2024

One Year after the Nuclear Phase-Out in Germany: The Truth Behind the Myths


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.