Power from the sun

Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

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The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE conducts research on the technology needed to supply energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialised, threshold and developing countries. To this purpose, the Institute develops systems, components, materials and processes in the areas of the thermal use of solar energy, solar building, solar cells, electrical power supplies, chemical energy conversion, energy storage and the rational use of energy.

The Institute's work ranges from fundamental scientific research relating to solar energy applications, through the development of production technology and prototypes, to the construction of demonstration systems. The Institute plans, advises and provides know-how and technical facilities as services.

Current Press Releases
Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation – Gallium Nitride Transistors Enable Switching Frequencies in MHz Range
Oct 17, 2016

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power electronic systems in aviation applications more efficient.

Global Energy Transformation as Vocation – Symposium for Institute Director Eicke R. Weber on Occasion of Retirement
Nov 11, 2016

On November 11, 2016 at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE honored Prof. Eicke R. Weber’s achievements at a scientific symposium on the global energy transformation. Having reached retirement age, Prof. Weber will step down from his position as Institute Director at the end of the year. Weber gave the German solar research a voice that is observed worldwide. With great enthusiasm he supported the energy transformation on both the scientific and political arenas. At the Institute, he organized the structure and business areas to optimally meet the demands of the energy transformation. From 2006 to 2016, he was able to double the number of employees to 1100 today. Over the same time period, the operating budget, based primarily on self-acquired projects, grew from ca. 25 million euros up to 73 million euros (2015).

30.2 Percent Efficiency – New Record for Silicon-based Multi-junction Solar Cell
Nov 09, 2016

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with the Austrian company EV Group (EVG) have successfully manufactured a silicon-based multi-junction solar cell with two contacts and an efficiency exceeding the theoretical limit of silicon solar cells. For this achievement, the researchers used a “direct wafer bonding” process to transfer a few micrometers of III-V semiconductor material to silicon, a well-known process in the microelectronics industry. After plasma activation, the subcell surfaces are bonded together in vacuum by applying pressure. The atoms on the surface of the III-V subcell form bonds with the silicon atoms, creating a monolithic device. The efficiency achieved by the researchers presents a firsttime result for this type of fully integrated silicon-based multi-junction solar cell. The complexity of its inner structure is not evident from its outer appearance: the cell has a simple front and rear contact just as a conventional silicon solar cell and therefore can be integrated into photovoltaic modules in the same manner.

Scientific Symposium on the Global Energy Transformation on the Occasion of Prof. Eicke R. Weber’s Retirement - Part 2

On November 11, 2016 at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE honored Prof. Eicke R. Weber’s achievements at a scientific symposium on the global energy transformation. The list of speakers at the symposium reflects Weber’s successful networking within the photovoltaics sector and beyond. The talks presented at the Scientific Symposium on Research for the Energy Transformation have been published on our blog Innovation4E in two parts.

Join the SOLAR-TRAIN Project: Application for Marie Sklodowska-Curie PhD Fellowships is open until December 11th!

Fraunhofer ISE and 7 European partners recently started a new Marie Sklodowska-Curie project in the field of photovoltaic module life time forecast and evaluation. The objective is to develop novel, validated models for the service life time and energy prediction of PV modules and systems. The SOLAR-TRAIN project will also qualify selected PhD students in the field of PV durability as part of a highly innovative, multi-disciplinary project meeting industry requirements. SOLAR-TRAIN invites applications for 14 PhD fellowships. The successful candidates will be hosted at leading European research centres and companies starting in March 2017. The deadline for applications is 11th December 2016.

New Momentum for European Photovoltaic Research and Industry – Consortium Starts Project which Aims at High-Performance Solar Cells and Modules

A strong consortium of experienced industrial actors and renowned R&D institutes collaborates in a project which aims to develop key technologies for the next generation of high-performance photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and modules, allowing ultra-low solar electricity costs with minimum environmental impact.

Events / Trade Fairs
BAU Munich - World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems
Munich, Germany
Jan 16, 2017 - Jan 21, 2017

BAU, the World's Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems, is the biggest and most important event in the sector. The next BAU takes place from January 16 to 21, 2017 at the Messe München exhibition center. Around 2,000 exhibitors from more than 40 countries and approximately 250,000 visitors from all around the world are expected to take part. Every two years the industry's leading manufacturers and innovative newcomers showcase their products and services for commercial and residential construction and interior work for both new-building and renovation and modernization here. They present concrete future prospects and innovative solutions and provide inspiration for real career practice.

8th International Rechargeable Battery Expo
Tokyo, Japan
Mar 01, 2017 - Mar 03, 2017

The International Rechargeable Battery Expo is the world's largest business platform for manufacturing and R&D of rechargeable battery. All kinds of materials, manufacturing technologies, inspection/analysis equipment services as well as the battery itself will gather from around the world. Its 8th iteration will be held from 1st to 3rd of March and will be located at the Tokyo Big Sight venue.

ISH Frankfurt
Frankfurt, Germany
Mar 14, 2017 - Mar 18, 2017

ISH – The World’s Leading Trade Fair for The Bathroom Experience, Building Services, Energy, Air Conditioning Technology and Renewable Energies – is the world’s biggest exhibition for the combination of water and energy. With everything from sustainable sanitation solutions, innovative bathroom design and energy efficient heating technologies combined with renewable energies to environmentally friendly air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology, the world’s leading trade fair covers all aspects of future-oriented building solutions in both horizontal and vertical terms.

11th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES)
Düsseldorf, Germany
Mar 14, 2017 - Mar 16, 2017

Since 2006 EUROSOLAR (the European Association for Renewable Energy) and WCRE (the World Council for Renewable Energy) have successfully organized the scientific conference series on International Renewable Energy Storage (IRES). From 14 till 16 March 2017 the 11th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES 2017) will take place together with the Energy Storage Europe (conference + expo) in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Fraunhofer ISE - Annual Report 2015/16

Study: What will the Energy Transformation Cost?