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 1200, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.

Current Press Releases


Press Release #28 / 12.12.2018

Fraunhofer ISE Develops Solutions for Optimized Water Use in Solar Thermal Power Plants

Within the project MinWaterCSP, Fraunhofer ISE developed several approaches to reduce the water consumption in Solar Thermal Power Plants.


Press Release #27 / 30.11.2018

Professor Adolf Goetzberger Turns 90: Pioneer of the Energy Transformation and Founder of Fraunhofer ISE

“I have always been interested in problems that were thought to be unsolvable.” This quote stemming from Prof. Dr. Adolf Goetzberger stands both for his scientific career as well as for his unwavering conviction as founder of Fraunhofer ISE, which he launched and led to success. 


Press Release #25 / 22.11.2018

Concentrator Photovoltaics Shows Peak Performance – Module Efficiency Reaches 41.4 %

In the EU-funded project CPVMatch, a newly developed concentrator module achieved a module efficiency of 41.4 % – the highest value ever measured for a photovoltaic module.


Press Release #24 / 24.10.2018

Joint Research by Fraunhofer ISE and Heraeus for High-performance Solar Modules: Novel Cell Connector Increases Power by 1.9 W

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Heraeus are researching and optimizing novel, selectively coated cell connectors in a joint research project. The Selectively Coated Ribbon (SCRTM) cell connector achieves an average gain of 1.9 W in conventional 60-cell solar modules.

News and Events


NexWafe GmbH Appoints Peter Pauli as New Chairman of the Board

NexWafe, a Fraunhofer ISE spin off company that is industrializing its breakthrough technology for epitaxial fabrication of silicon wafers for solar photovoltaics (PV), today announced the appointment of Peter Pauli as the new chairman of the board as of September 1, 2018. He is succeeding Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber, who served as the chairman for the past two years. The shareholders and board members welcome Peter Pauli in his new position and express gratitude to Prof. Dr. Weber for his valuable contributions. From 2002 to 2016, Peter Pauli was the driving force in developing Meyer Burger Technology.
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Solutions for Sustainable Cities: Conference URBAN FUTURE

From May 22-24, Oslo is hosting the URBAN FUTURE global conference 2019 – one of the signature events of the Oslo European Green Capital 2019. About 3000 city changers from more than 60 countries will be attending sessions with 200 speakers on urban mobility, built environment, green business & innovation and leadership as well as numerous field trips in and around Oslo. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is an official partner of the conference.
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MinWaterCSP Provides Technical Solutions for Efficient Water Use in CSP Plants

The international research and development project MinWaterCSP addresses the challenge of reducing the water consumption of CSP plants and improving thermal cycle efficiencies of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. After three years of work, 13 partners from 6 different EU and non-EU countries have developed new technologies for reducing water consumed for cooling and mirror cleaning. During the 2nd International Conference on the “Reduction of Water consumption in CSP plants” in Stellenbosch, South Africa (7-8 November 2018), the consortium presents its final results.
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Living Spaces of the Future: digital - sustainable - smart

Digitization, climate change, scarcity of resources and housing shortages - these trends call for society, business and research alike to change their ways. The construction industry also has to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to meet the constantly growing demands placed on buildings. It is becoming increasingly important to think in cross-industry terms and act via networks. The member institutes of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance are working continuously on interdisciplinary solutions and systems to actively shape the "living spaces of the future". With its special show at BAU 2019, Hall C2, Booth 528, the Fraunhofer alliance will be presenting innovative products and system solutions from its construction research.
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MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

Boston, USA / 11/25/2018 - 11/30/2018

BAU Munich

Munich, Germany / 01/14/2019 - 01/19/2019

PowerSkin Conference 2019

Munich, Germany / 01/17/2019

E-World energy & water

Essen, Germany / 02/05/2019 - 02/07/2019


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:


Clever Structures for Clean Heat – A Closer Look at the Sparkling Star

First of all, we hope the sparkling gold and blue stars on our card put you in a festive mood. Upon a second glance, you may have noticed the metal woven structure on the gold star and detected the vague pipe-like structures on the blue star. What is the significance of these structures and what [...]
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The »FlexGeber« Project – The ISE Campus Becomes More Energy Efficient

The results of Fraunhofer ISE’s research projects, be it a power plant in Kuwait or a water treatment system in Africa, are often installed at locations far away from Freiburg. The FlexGeber project, however, is being carried out directly on the Fraunhofer ISE campus. In November 2018, tractors started preparing the ground for new heating [...]
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Collaboration Cluster for Photovoltaic Silicon Material Characterization

The »Collaboration Cluster for Photovoltaic Silicon Material Characterization« is a partnerhship between Fraunhofer ISE, the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The Collaboration Cluster for Photovoltaic Silicon Material Characterization is aiming for a strong partnership of the Fraunhofer ISE with the Universities in Australia, the Australian National University (ANU) [...]
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Worldwide innovation: A venetian blind that supplies solar thermal energy

A newly developed solar thermal venetian blind uses the heat generated by solar radiation and feeds it via heat pipes to the hot water storage tank of the building. … When you think of solar thermal energy, you think of “black rectangles on the roof”. To date, this has been one barrier to the widespread [...]
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