Business Areas

Fraunhofer ISE conducts application-oriented research and development for key technologies of the future. To this purpose, the institute addresses a wide range of subjects and pursues a holistic, systemic approach. This maximizes synergy between the five business areas:


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. Analyses and models prepared by Fraunhofer ISE demonstrate clearly that the energy transformation cannot occur without tapping the enormous potential offered by photovoltaics. It is thus essential that photovoltaic technology continue to be developed further.

Research Topics in this business area


Silicon Photovoltaics


III-V and Concentrator Photovoltaics


Emerging Photovoltaic Technologies


Photovoltaic Modules and Power Plants

Solar Thermal Technology

For the transformation of the thermal energy systems, solar thermal energy is a central component alongside energy efficiency. How this role is interpreted in different national economies and climatic zones also depends on cost developments in production and distribution. Research and development can make its contribution by developing more cost-effective materials, manufacturing processes and complete systems.

Research Topics in this business area


Material Research and Optics


Thermal Collectors and Components


Thermal Systems Engineering


Thermal Storage for Power Plants and Industry


Water Treatment

Building Energy Technology

More than 40 % of the end energy demand in most industrial countries is caused by the building sector. The building sector thus has a major role to play in reaching the targets for climate protection. Decisive is to reduce of the building energy demand and meet the rest demand as completely as possible with renewable energy sources.

Research Topics in this business area


Building Envelope


Heating and Cooling Technologies


Energy Concepts and Building Performance Optimization


Thermal Storage for Buildings


Materials and Components for Heat Transformation

Hydrogen Technologies

With the expansion of renewable energy, the share of electricity generated from fluctuating sources is increasing. Using electricity from renewable energy sources, hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis of water. Hydrogen, as a secondary form of energy, can be used according to need across many sectors for a variety of applications: in the sustainable mobility sector for fuel cell vehicles, in the chemical industry as a raw material or in the energy economy.

Research Topics in this business area


Thermochemical Processes


Hydrogen Production by Water Electrolysis


Fuel Cell Systems

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. Our spectrum of research topics and services ranges from energy system analysis, through the optimization of energy systems, to the development of battery systems, power electronic components or information and communications technology solutions.

Research Topics in this business area


Power Electronics


Smart Grid Technologies


System Integration – Electricity, Heat, Gas


Battery Systems for Stationary and Mobile Applications


Energy System Analysis