Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Tandem Photovoltaics –
The Road to Higher Conversion Efficiencies

Our research aim is to increase the energy conversion efficiency of photovoltaics and bring down the costs. Tandem photovoltaics holds great promise for achieving these goals and is among the fastest-developing solar technologies today.

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Heat Pumps –
A Key Technology for the Energy Transition

Heat pumps will be the dominant heating technology in the future energy system. Scientific studies have shown they will play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector. Today heat pumps are used in numerous types of buildings.

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Integrated Photovoltaics – Areas for the Energy Transformation

Integrating PV technology into building envelopes, vehicles and roads, as well as over agricultural fields and floating on water surfaces, capitalizes on surface areas with a tremendous potential for generating solar power.

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© Fraunhofer ISE/Foto: Dirk Mahler


Photovoltaics is a central pillar of the future energy supply from both an economical and ecological point of view.

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Energieeffiziente Gebäude
© ingenhoven architects H. G. Esch

Energy Efficient Buildings

Energy efficiency in buildings plays a central role in climate protection. Currently the building sector in Germany is responsible for over 40% of the final energy demand.

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© Fraunhofer ISE

Solar Thermal Power Plants and Industrial Processes

Already today, concentrating solar thermal power plants (CSP) coupled with large thermal storage units provide dispatchable renewable electricity. Such systems show great potential for industrial systems, increasing efficiency and allowing more flexibility in the energy flows.

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© Fraunhofer ISE

Hydrogen Technologies and Electrical Energy Storage

Our R&D services address the generation, conversion and further thermo-chemical processing of hydrogen. In electrical energy storage, we offer R&D along the entire value chain: from materials, through the cell and module up to the complete battery system.

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© Fraunhofer ISE/Foto: Dirk Mahler

Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems

We are working to optimize the interplay between efficient renewable energy generation, the security of supply, energy storage and stable grid operation.

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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 9001:2015. Founded in 1981, Fraunhofer ISE, with a staff of 1300, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.


Dear customers, project partners, sponsors and friends,

Fraunhofer ISE will continue to do everything in its power to protect the health of its employees and society as a whole by acting responsibly. Therefore, we strictly adhere to the official guidelines and those of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for the COVID-19 pandemic and also implement measures which are specific to Fraunhofer ISE.

Of course, we remain in operation and continue to serve you. We process all project orders and continue to carry out our R&D for the energy transition. Our employees are working partly at the institute and partly in their home offices. Therefore, please get in touch with your contact person preferably by e-mail. Should you still have difficulties in contacting them, please call our main telephone number: +49 761 4588-0.

We wish you, your relatives and employees good health!

Warm regards,

Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bett

Institute Directors Fraunhofer ISE


Fraunhofer ISE - Newsletter

You are interested in up-to-date information on our R&D activities?



Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System

The German Energy Transition in its Social Context

Current Press Releases


Press Release #24 / 5.10.2021

M10 Industries AG and Fraunhofer ISE Develop Matrix Shingle Technology to Industrial Maturity

M10 Industries AG and Fraunhofer ISE and have developed a matrix shingle concept for connecting silicon solar cells and a new stringer for manufacturing novel matrix shingle modules.


Press Release #23 / 30.9.2021

Study: Technological Learning is Key for Resource Efficient Terawatt Scale Photovoltaics

Fraunhofer ISE and PIK have analyzed whether the projected PV terawatt market is feasible from a resource point of view.


Press Release #2 / 23.9.2021

European Glass-Glass Photovoltaic Modules Are Particularly Climate-Friendly

In a new study, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have calculated that silicon photovoltaic modules manufactured in the European Union produce 40 percent less CO2 than modules manufactured in China.


Press Release #21 / 14.9.2021

First agrivoltaic system for carbon-neutral orcharding being tested

As part of the project “APV-Obstbau”, BayWa r.e. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have cooperated with other research partners to set up an agrivoltaic system for research purposes at the “Bio-Obsthof Nachtwey” in Gelsdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is the first system of its kind in Germany. 



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News and Events


Trade Fairs, Conferences and Workshops


Efficiency record for an organic PV mini module

Organic photovoltaics has considerable benefits, such as environmentally friendly production and flexible modules. Yet, to promote market readiness, its efficiency must continue to be increased. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have achieved a certified efficiency value of 13.94 percent for a mini module, which is 9 square centimeters in size and has been created with organic solar cells. That’s a new world record in this category.
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Research Project on the Industrial Production of 3-D Photovoltaic Modules Launches

In order to integrate photovoltaic (PV) modules onto contoured surfaces such as car roofs or architecturally challenging buildings, curved modules are often necessary. In addition, these applications often have limited space for PV, so that highly efficient modules are recommended. The cooperative research project "3D PV Modules with Contour for Integrated Photovoltaics," funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, addresses these requirements. The four project partners Robert Bürkle GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Netzsch-Gerätebau GmbH and Saint-Gobain Research Germany are working together with the aim to simplify the industrial production of PV modules with 3D contours. Within the project, they are constructing a 3D laminator and developing new methods to measure the performance and detect the defects of curved modules.
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Fraunhofer ISE Tests High Temperature Materials for Solar Power Plants in HelioGlow Project

Conventional solar tower power plants currently use solar salt as a heat transfer medium, whose maximum achievable temperature lies somewhat below 600 °C. If the operating temperature of the power plant were increased to over 1000 °C, this would lead to a considerable efficiency rise in the conversion of stored heat into electricity and open up a high potential for cost reduction. In the HelioGlow project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is working together with the project partner Kraftblock on the development of ceramic materials for solid-state radiation receivers. These materials show temperature stability up to over 1300 °C and maintain a constant high working temperature even under fluctuating solar irradiation.
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Gips-Schüle Young Scientist Award 2021 - Markus Feifel of Fraunhofer ISE Receives Certificate for Outstanding Achievements

On July 27, 2021, the Gips-Schüle Young Scientist Award was presented in Tübingen. The Gips-Schüle Foundation annually honors outstanding doctoral theses in Baden-Württemberg in the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. Dr. Markus Feifel received a certificate of outstanding achievements in the category of science and engineering for his doctoral thesis on tandem photovoltaics, carried out at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg.
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Current Posts from "Innovation4E", the Research Blog of Fraunhofer ISE


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.

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.

Episode 12 of a series on heat pumps in existing buildings I Marek Miara / 20.5.2021

How do we get more heat pumps in existing buildings?

Episode 11 of a series on heat pumps in existing buildings I Marek Miara / 7.5.2021

Can heat pumps only be used in one- and two-family houses?

Episode 10 of a series on heat pumps in existing buildings | Marek Miara / 29.4.2021

Is it better to combine a heat pump with fossil heating in some cases?

Episode 9 of a series on heat pumps in existing buildings | Marek Miara / 24.2.2021

Is it worth waiting for technological developments before switching to a heat pump?

Episode 8 of a series on heat pumps in existing buildings | Marek Miara / 14.4.2021

Isn’t heating with heat pumps too expensive?

Episode 7 of a series on heat pumps in existing buildings | Marek Miara / 24.3.2021

How ecological are heat pumps in existing buildings?