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  • Enormous quantities of raw materials are required for the conversion of the energy system, for example, in the form of copper and aluminum cables to connect renewable generators to the grid. One promising approach to save raw materials is to move from the low to the medium-voltage level in renewable energy power plants. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE sees a huge potential for savings with higher system voltages, especially in large PV power plants. The institute is planning first pilot power plants with this technology and is aiming for a broad market launch together with industry. To kick-off its new research topic "Medium Voltage – A Resource-Efficient Way to Interconnect", Fraunhofer ISE will be presenting the world's first medium-voltage PV string inverter and a medium-voltage battery inverter at the Smarter E trade fair in Munich (June 19-21).

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  • The year 2024 is characterised by a substantial reduction in federal funding for project research. Energy research is particularly affected by this. A 30% reduction in available funding for new projects is looming, compared to the previous year. Against this backdrop, the Fraunhofer-Group »Energy Technologies and Climate Protection« is warning of a massive decline in German industry's ability to innovate in technologies for the energy transition. Nine institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are organised in the group, which play a key role in driving forward application-oriented energy research.

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  • News #20 / 2024

    Optimally Tracked PV Systems with Deep Learning

    June 17, 2024

    Photovoltaic systems equipped with solar trackers show a 20 to 30 percent gain in energy yield compared to fixed ground-mounted systems. Besides this, the layout design and alignment can take other criteria into account, such as the light requirements of certain plant varieties underneath agrivoltaic and biodiversity-PV systems or also the grid feed-in at certain times of the day. In the research project "DeepTrack", Zimmermann PV-Tracker GmbH, part of the Zimmermann PV-Steel Group, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE are improving tracking algorithms with a digital twin that uses deep learning to calculate optimized control approaches. Among other things, the digital twin learns from the data of its “real” twin, a PV tracker built by Zimmermann PV-Tracker, which is located at the Fraunhofer ISE’s Outdoor Performance Lab in Merdingen near Freiburg.

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  • Researchers from the Technical University of Berlin, Rena Technologies GmbH, and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Building Physics IBP and for Solar Energy Systems ISE have for the first time created a comprehensive model of the water flows in a solar cell factory with a production capacity of 5 gigawatts (5GWp) per year. Using this model as basis, they tested the introduction of two different strategies for circular water use. The results show that a reduction of up to 79 percent in the water consumption and up to 84 percent in the wastewater is already technically possible with today's production technologies. This would mean that the construction of new solar cell factories in locations with less water availability are also feasible. The study is freely accessible in the latest issue of Solar Energy.

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  • Heat pumps can not only be used efficiently in residential buildings, but also in industrial processes with heating and cooling requirements. This conclusion was reached by a team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE as part of the joint project "ETA in Existing Facilities“. The application of a heat pump with propane refrigeration circuit in an industrial cleaning machine led to considerable savings in electricity and CO2.

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Sophia Bächle

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Sophia Bächle

Communications
Photovoltaics

Fraunhofer ISE
Heidenhofstr. 2
79110 Freiburg

Phone +49 761 4588-5215

Claudia Hanisch

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Claudia Hanisch

Communications
Energy Technology and Systems

Fraunhofer ISE
Heidenhofstr. 2
79110 Freiburg

Phone +49 761 4588-5448