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 1 400, 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 #18 / 15.7.2024

“Energy-Charts” Data Platform Celebrates its Tenth Year as Fact Provider for the Energy Transition

Ten years ago, Fraunhofer  ISE launched the "Energy Charts" to objectify the debate on the energy transition. Today, it is one of the most comprehensive data platforms on the European energy market.


Press Release #17 / 3.7.2024

German Net Power Generation in First Half of 2024: Record Generation of Green Power, Generation from Fossil Fuels Continues Decline

At 140 terawatt hours, more renewable electricity was generated in Germany in the first half of 2024 than ever before.


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.

News and Events


Trade Fairs, Conferences and Workshops


International Solar Energy Leaders and Researchers Discuss Shared Challenges, Growth Opportunities at 4th Multi-Terawatt Workshop

Representatives from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Germany), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL (USA), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology AIST (Japan), as well as other leading solar research institutes and international participants from industry came together at the 4th Terawatt Workshop of the Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes (GA-SERI) from June 6-8 in Asilomar, CA, USA. The discussions focused on the progress of photovoltaic (PV) technology but also on the shared challenges of achieving sustainability and circularity in the rapidly growing multi-terawatt PV market. Approximately 70 participants from 14 countries attended the event.
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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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Current Posts from "Innovation4E", the Research Blog of Fraunhofer ISE

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