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.

Photovoltaics (PV) is a key cornerstone technology for the transformation of our energy system. In this business area, Fraunhofer ISE specializes in research topics in four areas: Silicon Photovoltaics, III-V and Concentrator Photovoltaics, Emerging PV Technologies and PV Modules and Power Plants. With its many years of experience and its state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, Fraunhofer ISE is ideally positioned to provide expert R&D services and continue its advances in the field of photovoltaics in the future.

Energy efficient buildings play a central role in climate protection: More than 40 % of the end energy demand in Germany is caused by the building sector. We must reduce the energy demand for operating buildings and then meet it with renewable energy sources to the greatest extent possible. This is exactly where Fraunhofer ISE makes its contribution: We offer support for consistent realization of this vision, from building planning through construction to operation.

With our activities in this area, we offer R&D services addressing the generation, conversion and further thermo-chemical processing of hydrogen. For battery materials, cells, modules and systems, we offer R&D services based on conventional and future technology.

In sunny regions, solar thermal power plants based on concentrated solar power (CSP) already provide dispatchable renewable electricity through the use of large thermal storage units. Particularly in combination with inexpensive PV electricity, the storage potential provided by CSP in grids with increasing proportions of electricity from fluctuating renewable sources will become increasingly important. Together with our partners, we are conducting research on materials, components, collectors and systems, to further increase the efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs. Cost-efficient and resource-saving operation of the systems is also the subject of current work. Thermal storage also offers great potential for industrial processes to become more efficient and energy flows to be designed more flexibly. In addition to concrete storage solutions and energy-efficiency measures, we are working on integrating solar process heat into the heat supply for industrial processes.

In its work on Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems, Fraunhofer ISE mainly addresses research topics from the electricity sector. We are working on optimizing the interaction between efficient generation from renewable sources, a reliable supply for consumers, energy storage and stable operation of electricity grids. Furthermore, coupling between energy sectors, e. g. the transport or building sectors, represents another important aspect of our activities. Power electronics is becoming an increasingly important technology for the future energy supply.