PV-Battery Systems, Mini Grids and Autonomous Systems

Fraunhofer ISE offers a broad range of technical, economic and socio-economic services for decentral, off-grid and grid-coupled electricity supply systems in rural regions, semi-urban areas as well as for commercial PV-battery systems and PV parks with integrated battery storage. The overall goal is a sustainable power supply that supports the economic development and promotes an integrated infrastructure.

PV-Battery Systems

In the field of PV-battery systems and PV parks with integrated battery storage, Fraunhofer ISE offers a comprehensive range of quality assurance services starting with planning, through operation and up to monitoring of the system.

Mini Grids and Autonomous Electricity Supply Systems

In the field of autonomous power supply systems and mini grids, Fraunhofer ISE performs research to find solutions based on photovoltaics, fuel cells, small wind and small hydropower stations. Applications include a wide range of components from portable devices, stationary power supplies up to the rural electrification of huts and small towns with Solar Home Systems and mini-grids or even decentralized grid-coupled PV-battery systems with e.g. back-up functions if needed.

Another research focus at ISE is agrophotovoltaic systems, in which crops are planted under PV arrays – a dual-purpose system for electricity production and agriculture.  Especially in arid zones that are often located far from a central grid – which results in the requirement of storage –, the partial shading of crops by PV assists plant growth and helps the soil to retain water. Such systems help reduce the need for watering while producing solar electricity at the same time. The renewable electricity from the sun can be used for operating the watering system and reduce the reliance on diesel.

Fraunhofer ISE has over 25 years of experience in this field. In the customized solutions developed for our customers, we consider the local surroundings and the people who are using the technology. Our development work is carried out in close cooperation with international, national and local partners.

Our R&D Services include:

Measurement and Testing Facilities, Monitoring

  • Characterization of a variety of batteries ranging widely in technology and size
  • Components and system development:
    • System components, e.g. charge controllers and battery inverters for off-grid and grid-connected operation
    • Selected loads, e.g. lighting systems
    • Complete systems like solar lights and plug&play Solar Home Systems
  • Development of testing procedures
  • Set-up and implementation of testing laboratories
  • System monitoring

Energy and System Concepts

  • Development of power supply concepts based on PV-hybrid-battery systems for off-grid and grid-coupled applications
  • Development and design of system concepts for commercial PV-battery systems and PV parks with integrated battery storage
  • Simulation of solar radiation near the ground and selection of suitable crops for agrophotovoltaic systems
  • Simulation, analysis and optimization of the entire system
  • Development of operating models
  • Support in fulfilling the legislative, environmental and financial hurdles
  • Development of concepts for implementation and financing


Energy Management Systems

  • Optimized operational management strategies
  • Supply management
  • Load management
  • Storage management
  • Communication interfaces


Seminars and Workshops

  • Competence building through transfer of know-how
  • Training courses at Fraunhofer ISE and on site, by request