Power Electronics for PV and Storage Systems

Inverters, DC/DC converters and charge controllers serve as key balance-of-system components for PV, wind and CHP systems and play a central role in integrating electrical storage into the complete system.

Fraunhofer ISE develops highly efficient components for all applications in the power range from less than 100 watts up to the megawatt scale. Since decades, Fraunhofer is the leading R&D partner for the industry and makes use of its numerous patents on switching concepts in the field of power electronics. Years ago, Fraunhofer ISE developed the HERIC® topology, leading to record inverter efficiencies of over 99 percent.

Current studies show that over 1.2 billion people have no access to electricity. Most of these people live in remote rural areas, where it is not economically viable to connect them to the grid. In these remote areas, renewable energy systems, such as photovoltaics, wind, hydro or biomass with their increasingly lower electricity generation costs, have an enormous potential.

Also for applications in the off-grid industry such as mining, a photovoltaic energy supply is often competitive with conventional energy carriers. Positive is that photovoltaics can greatly reduce environmental pollution. It follows that retrofits of existing diesel systems (or installing new PV-diesel hybrid systems) is already a lucrative market segment today.  In future, this segment will only gain attractiveness.

For over 30 years, Fraunhofer ISE has been developing efficient and flexible energy systems for use in remote and off-grid areas.