Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE


Photovoltaic technology is an essential component to transform today’s carbon-based energy system into one with its foundations in renewable and sustainable energy sources.

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Solar Thermal Technology

For the transformation of the thermal energy systems, solar thermal energy is a central component alongside energy efficiency.

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Building Energy Technology

More than 40 % of the end energy demand in most industrial countries is caused by the building sector, thus it has a major role to play in reaching the targets for climate protection.

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Hydrogen Technologies

Hydrogen, produced by electrolysis using electricity from renewable energy sources, can be used according to need across many sectors for a variety of applications; for example, in the sustainable mobility sector for fuel cell vehicles, etc.

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Energy System Technology

Energy system technology, which optimizes the interaction between generators, consumers and their control and addresses the management of energy distribution and storage, is one of the most important areas needing work for the energy transformation.

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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 9001:2008. Founded in 1981, Fraunhofer ISE, with a staff of 1150, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.

Current Press Releases


Press Release #16 / 25.9.2017

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

Fraunhofer ISE has now exceeded its own world record for multicrystalline solar cells. The record cell converts 22.3 percent of the incident sunlight into electricity.


Press Release #15 / 10.7.2017

Two Directors Take Over as Head of Fraunhofer ISE

As of July 10, 2017 it is official: Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning and Dr. Andreas Bett will assume a dual leadership position as the new institute directors of the Fraunhofer Insitute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. Both have been at Fraunhofer ISE, the largest institute for solar energy research in Europe, for many years. The two scientists are internationally renowned throughout the world in their field and collectively hold expertise in the areas of photovoltaics, building energy technology and energy system analysis.


Press Release #12 / 17.5.2017

New Materials – New Test Requirements:

7th PV Module Reliability Workshop Sets on the Future of the Solar Energy Market

On July 6-7, 2017 the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is hosting the 7th PV Module Reliability workshop. This year the workshop will be held at the Solar Info Center, which is in close proximity to the laboratories of Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg. 


Press Release #11 / 13.4.2017

CalLab PV Modules Increases Measurement Precision to a Record 1.3 Percent

The calibration laboratory at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has achieved a best value: Photovoltaic modules can now be calibrated with an even higher measurement precision of 1.3 percent. Repeatability lies at 0.4 percent. Measurement precision is a decisive factor for quality assurance in the module production and for investments in PV plants. For a volume of 10 MW, for example, each percentage point increase in measurement precision corresponds to a monetary value of about 60,000 euros.

News and Events


Fraunhofer ISE is Co-Organizing this Year’s PV Performance Modeling and Monitoring Workshop to Be Held in Weihai, China

The PV Performance Modeling and Monitoring Workshop, which is being held in China for the first time, will take place from December 5-6, 2017. International photovoltaic experts from research and industry are set to come together in Weihai to discuss the latest research results and market requirements for modeling and monitoring PV systems.

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New Study: Growth of Solar Energy Underestimated

The growth of solar energy has been grossly underestimated in the results of the models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Costs have dropped and infrastructures expanded much faster than even the most optimistic models had assumed.

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Fraunhofer ISE Hosts the 8th Back Contact Workshop in Freiburg

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is collaborating with the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) to organize the 8th Back Contact Workshop, which will be held in Freiburg from November 21–22, 2017. The workshop focuses on back contact technology for solar cells and modules. This technology involves fitting the contacts entirely on the rear side of the solar cells in order to improve sunlight absorption on the front side.

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Apply for the MSc Solar Energy Engineering until July 31st

The part-time and online study program provides a great opportunity to gain insights into the science and technology of solar energy. The program, which replaced the successful "Master Online Photovoltaics" last year is now running in its second year and offers a wide variety of subjects from solar cell technologies, photovoltaic systems and grids to solar thermal systems.

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33rd European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC)

Amsterdam, Niederlande / 25.9.2017 - 29.9.2017

23. SolarPACES Conference

Santiago de Chile, Chile / 09/26/2017 - 09/29/2017

Trade Fair

f-cell 2017

Stuttgart, Germany / 10/09/2017 - 10/11/2017


EVS30 – Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition

Stuttgart, Germany / 10/09/2017 - 10/11/2017


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:


Episode 03: An Espresso with… SOLAR-TRAIN scholars

In our series “An Espresso with …” we regularly carry out interviews with engaging people from the field of renewable energy. In this episode we welcomed three young scientists at our coffeetable. Ismail Kaaya, Djamel Mansour and Amantin-Panos Mehilli are scholars of the EU Horizon 2020 research project “SOLAR-TRAIN“. They reported on their initial experience […]

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Photovoltaics – the ordinary madness

SolarWorld is only the latest bankrupt PV manufacturer in Germany. Many now wonder: What is the matter with photovoltaics in Germany and what is next? When trying to answer these questions, we have to look at three sectors: Politics, economy and technology. In the technical and economic sector, photovoltaics (PV) is on a triumphal march […]

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Fully accredited and accepted worldwide: Solar collectors from all over the world are being tested in the TestLab Solar Thermal Systems at Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg

The basic principle of solar-thermal collectors is simple. All utilize sunlight to warm up a heat transfer medium and thereby make heat energy available. Some supply households in our latitudes with warm water and solar thermal heating. Other technological variants are located in the sun belt of the earth. Those feed power turbines with water […]

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Silicon PV in Freiburg – Interview with Dr. Ralf Preu, Ph.D.

The Silicon PV – International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics came back to Freiburg from 03rd to 5th of April where it began in 2011. The conference series was founded with the goal of offering an outstanding high-class scientific program on advanced technologies, materials and concepts for crystalline silicon solar cells and modules. This year, […]

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