Solar TestField in Merdingen near Freiburg, Germany

Visualization of the Solar TestField
© Fraunhofer ISE
Visualization of the Solar TestField with different solar system setups in Merdingen near Freiburg, Germany.

In Merdingen, 15 km west of Freiburg in Germany, one of the largest test fields for solar energy systems in Europe is being built. On an area of three hectares, Fraunhofer ISE will be testing the performance and reliability of components and systems in real-life operation.

Precise monitoring data from our Solar TestField will allow comprehensive analysis and comparative evaluation of performance. These data provide valuable information on the expected degradation and service life during operation. Innovative products and prototypes of a variety of different solar technologies will be tested:

  • photovoltaic modules
  • mounting and tracking systems
  • agri-photovoltaic systems
  • inverters and battery storage
  • solar thermal collectors and heliostats

Precise Benchmarking for Innovative PV Modules 

The Solar TestField will be available for innovative technologies, including bifacial modules, heterojunction technology (HJT), perovskite PV, organic PV (OPV) and tandem PV. Comparative measurements with reference modules from Fraunhofer ISE and with competitor products will be carried out under practical outdoor conditions. Depending on the technology and application, different questions arise. We arrange customized test programs and accompanying analyses with our clients on demand.

Comprehensive Performance Analysis  

Monitoring in the Solar TestField can be combined with precision measurements in the accredited CalLab PV Modules, with accelerated aging tests in the accredited TestLab PV Modules and with the highly sensitive degradation analysis methods we have developed. Fraunhofer ISE thus offers a unique platform for comprehensive performance analysis.

Detailed meteorological data acquisition is available in real time via network interfaces in the newly constructed Solar TestField and at Fraunhofer ISE.


Our Services for Manufacturers, Operators, Investors, Banks and Insurance Companies  

  • module installation fixed, single-axis or dual-axis tracking
  • precise, high-frequency recording of IV characteristics, meteorological data, other operating parameters and degradation indicators
  • data evaluation and informative, independent test reports
  • benchmarking of different module types
  • combination with laboratory measurements, accelerated aging, degradation analysis
  • analyses of power and agricultural yield of 
  • agrivoltaic systems
  • testing of Concentrating PV systems (CPV)
  • testing of inverters and PV battery systems
  • testing of solar thermal systems and their components

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Flyer: Solar TestField