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  • Today there exists a wide range of solar cells, connection technologies, encapsulation materials and processes from which solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturers can choose. At the same time, manufacturers are faced with the challenge of bringing the most highly efficient, durable and recyclable PV modules onto the market. Also customized modules for integrated applications are in demand. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE develops and tests new product ideas for manufacturers. Thus, companies can test new module concepts, without having to purchase the necessary equipment and materials themselves. Today, the institute opened its newly organized and expanded technology evaluation center Module-TEC with an area of 1,000 square meters. In this development and production environment, PV modules prototypes can be manufactured in small batches and tested on industrial systems.

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  • Photovoltaic (PV) modules based on perovskite silicon tandem solar cells have the potential to achieve significantly higher efficiencies than today's standard silicon PV modules. A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has now produced a PV module using perovskite silicon tandem solar cells from Oxford PV. With an efficiency of 25 percent and an output of 421 watts on an area of 1.68 square meters, it is the world's most efficient silicon perovskite tandem solar module in industrial format. For the manufacturing process, the researchers used equipment at Fraunhofer ISE's Module-TEC that is already used in mass production and optimized the processes for the tandem technology.

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  • In 2023, renewables accounted for a record share of 59.7 percent of the net public net electricity generation in Germany. The share of renewables in the load (the electricity mix coming from the socket) was 57.1 percent. This is the result of an analysis presented this week by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. New records were also set for wind and solar power in 2023. In contrast, generation from lignite (minus 27 percent) and hard coal (minus 35 percent) fell sharply. Newly installed photovoltaic capacity was in the double digits for the first time, amounting to around 14 gigawatts for 2023. This significantly exceeded the German government's statutory climate protection target. All the data for these statistics can be found on the platform energy-charts.info.

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  • Every day several million silicon wafers are being produced worldwide for the photovoltaic industry, and the demand is rising sharply. At the same time, the industry is increasingly switching to large wafer formats with an edge length of up to 210 mm. Processing these wafers to produce large-format solar cells with at least the same quality and cycle rate as conventionally sized solar cells presents equipment manufacturers with new challenges, especially for laser processing. To ensure that this processing step does not become a bottleneck in the future, a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed a novel system concept with industrial partners, which relies on the clever combination of On-the-Fly processing with ultra-fast scanning technology and lasers, high-end optics and sensor technology. Following the successful demonstration of the first system prototype in 2022, which achieved an effective throughput of over 15,000 wafers per hour, a second prototype that uses UV light to create particularly small structures is now in use at Fraunhofer ISE.

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  • Concentrating solar thermal plant in northern Chile
    © Fraunhofer Chile, Frank Dinter

    Several Fraunhofer institutes and facilities, including the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and other partners, are working to establish the large-scale production of green hydrogen and its derivatives in Chile. The core of the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to research the potential for the production of hydrogen and liquid fuels from solar energy. In addition to the technical issues, the project partners are also investigating the economic, logistical, and socio-economic aspects. They are also supporting the installation of a pilot facility for the production of climate-neutral methanol and dimethyl ether in Chile.

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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

Diana Bribach

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Diana Bribach

Communications Hydrogen​ Technologies

Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
Heidenhofstr. 2
79110 Freiburg

Phone +49 761-4588-2804