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 approximately 1100, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.

New Directorship as of January 1, 2017

Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning

Director (acting)
Since 1994 employed at Fraunhofer ISE, July 2009 - December 2016 Deputy Director of Fraunhofer ISE, Research Focus: building energy technology and energy system analysis

Dr. Andreas Bett

Director (acting)
Since 1986 employed at Fraunhofer ISE, from July 2009 - December 2016 Deputy Director of Fraunhofer ISE, Research Focus: concentrator photovoltaics (CPV).

Current Press Releases


Press Release #7 / 6.3.2017

Investing in the Energy Supply of Tomorrow

Fraunhofer ISE’s New Research Lab for Power Electronics and Grid Technologies in the Multi-Megawatt Range

With the grid expansion and modernization process for the German energy transformation, a growing number of applications for advanced power electronics and grid technologies arise. Power electronic devices, or converters, are key for connecting power supplies, consumers and storage systems and are playing an ever more important role in our energy supply. Further, these devices must be tailored to meet the increasingly complex requirements that ensure the flexible and reliable operation of our future energy system. Against this background, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is constructing a new lab site for the research, development and testing of the grid integration of renewable power, including controls for the low, medium and high voltage grids. Already most of the impressive lab infrastructure has been acquired and installed, and the new facility in the industrial area in North Freiburg is taking concrete shape. 


Press Release #6 / 20.2.2017

Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cell with 21.9 Percent Efficiency: Fraunhofer ISE Again Holds World Record

Now researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have produced a multicrystalline silicon solar cell with 21.9 percent efficiency, successfully bringing the world record back to Freiburg.


Press Release #5 / 9.2.2017

Crystals for Superconduction, Quantum Computing and High Efficiency Solar Cells

From March 8-10, 2017, an International Conference on Crystal Growth is to be held in Freiburg under the auspices of the German Association of Crystal Growth DGKK and the Swiss Society for Crystallography SGK-SSCR.


Press Release #4 / 7.2.2017

Reliability of TPedge PV Modules Successfully Tested

In the project “TPedge,” researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with their partners have developed processes so that the innovative PV modules can be manufactured on an industrial scale.

News and Events


31.3 Percent Efficiency for Silicon-based Multi-junction Solar Cell

Silicon solar cells dominate the global photovoltaic market today with a share of 90 percent. With ever new technological developments, research and industry are nearing the theoretical efficiency limit for semiconductor silicon. At the same time, they are forging new paths to develop a new generation of even more efficient solar cells.

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Fraunhofer ISE Develops Freeware “Aircow“ to Calculate Solar Air Heating Collector Fields

Until a few years ago, solar air heating collector systems have received only limited attention on the market compared to fluid heating collector systems. Solar air heating collectors are more difficult to measure and to evaluate. This not only hinders the development of new products but also provides less transparency on existing products. In the meanwhile, a more detailed measurement method has been incorporated into the test procedure for solar thermal collectors (DIN EN ISO 9806). On this basis, Fraunhofer ISE created an MS Excel application in order to improve air collector evaluation and system planning. The calculated results serve to certify solar air collectors according to Solar KEYMARK, to design system layouts, to develop air collectors as well as to perform parameter variation studies.

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Fraunhofer ISE Organizes Workshop “Energy Flexible Buildings” to be Held at the ISH 2017 in Frankfurt

The expansion of renewable energy sources impacts the entire energy system in a variety of ways. Both the functions of the individual components, i.e. supplier, consumer and storage, as well as their interaction with each other must be redefined. Buildings themselves will also have to take on new roles. They must be able to react flexibly to the conditions in the energy system, orienting their operation more on the energy production than demand.

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Fire Broke Out in Fraunhofer ISE Laboratory at Solar Info Center, Freiburg

At mid-morning today on Friday, February 24, 2017, a fire broke out in one of the laboratories of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE located in the Solar Info Center in Freiburg. The fire alarm was immediately set off and the building was successfully vacated. The firefighters were on location immediately and brought the fire quickly under control. According to the Fire Service, four firefighters were injured. A forensic investigation to determine the cause of the fire is underway. The building is presently closed and entry is not permitted. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will report more information as it is confirmed.

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Trade Fair


Large-area, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention

Munich, Germany / 03/29/2017 - 03/30/2017

7th PV Module Per­formance Modeling and Energy Rating Workshop

Canobbio, Switzerland / 03/30/2017 - 03/31/2017


7th SiliconPV

International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics
Freiburg, Germany / 04/03/2017 - 04/05/2017


7th nPV Workshop

Freiburg / 04/05/2017 - 04/06/2017


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:


The Energy Charts, a Portal for Energy Data Visualization, Now Boasts New Feature – An Interview with Prof. Bruno Burger

Since 2014 Fraunhofer ISE maintains the Energy Charts portal ( which displays current energy data visually in interactive graphs and diagrams. With just a few clicks, one can view illustrative diagrams that provide information about the share of renewable energies in the power supply in Germany. Prof. Bruno Burger is the initiator and developer of […]

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Energy Storage for a Sustainable Energy System – Interview with Dr. Matthias Vetter

It is necessary to develop efficient and cost-effective forms of energy storage for the future energy system, so that the final demand for electricity, heat, cooling energy or mechanical energy can be met optimally. Fraunhofer ISE has been active for several decades in many diverse research areas: from chemical storage based on hydrogen and electrochemical […]

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Software Reduces Losses in Solar PV Modules

A photovoltaic module consists of many interconnected solar cells. One cannot say, however, that the module power is simply the sum of the individual cells. Power losses due to reflection, absorption or electrical losses come about in the integration process. These cell-to-module, or CTM, losses have a large effect on the subsequent module performance and […]

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Scientific Symposium on the Global Energy Transformation – Talks Videos Part 2

On November 11, 2016 at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE honored Prof. Eicke R. Weber’s achievements at a scientific symposium on the global energy transformation. The talks presented at the Scientific Symposium on Research for the Energy Transformation have been published in two parts. The second part is […]

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