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  • Organic photovoltaics has considerable benefits, such as environmentally friendly production and flexible modules. Yet, to promote market readiness, its efficiency must continue to be increased. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have achieved a certified efficiency value of 13.94 percent for a mini module, which is 9 square centimeters in size and has been created with organic solar cells. That’s a new world record in this category.

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  • In order to integrate photovoltaic (PV) modules onto contoured surfaces such as car roofs or architecturally challenging buildings, curved modules are often necessary. In addition, these applications often have limited space for PV, so that highly efficient modules are recommended. The cooperative research project "3D PV Modules with Contour for Integrated Photovoltaics," funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, addresses these requirements. The four project partners Robert Bürkle GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Netzsch-Gerätebau GmbH and Saint-Gobain Research Germany are working together with the aim to simplify the industrial production of PV modules with 3D contours. Within the project, they are constructing a 3D laminator and developing new methods to measure the performance and detect the defects of curved modules.

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  • Conventional solar tower power plants currently use solar salt as a heat transfer medium, whose maximum achievable temperature lies somewhat below 600 °C. If the operating temperature of the power plant were increased to over 1000 °C, this would lead to a considerable efficiency rise in the conversion of stored heat into electricity and open up a high potential for cost reduction. In the HelioGlow project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is working together with the project partner Kraftblock on the development of ceramic materials for solid-state radiation receivers. These materials show temperature stability up to over 1300 °C and maintain a constant high working temperature even under fluctuating solar irradiation.

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  • © Gips-Schüle-Stiftung

    On July 27, 2021, the Gips-Schüle Young Scientist Award was presented in Tübingen. The Gips-Schüle Foundation annually honors outstanding doctoral theses in Baden-Württemberg in the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. Dr. Markus Feifel received a certificate of outstanding achievements in the category of science and engineering for his doctoral thesis on tandem photovoltaics, carried out at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg.

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  • Northern Chile, one of the driest regions on the earth, has extensive geothermal resources. With innovative combined cycle power plants (CCPP), climate-friendly electricity can be generated and fresh water and mineral resources extracted at the same time. To this end, the German-Chilean research project “BrineMine”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was launched in 2019 to develop strategies and technologies in this field. As part of the project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is developing the plant technology for subsequent industrial use. Part of the process chain has already been successfully demonstrated in operation in a geothermal power plant in the Upper Rhine Graben.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Dutch Research Councel (NWO) institute AMOLF have started a strategic cooperation in the field of metamaterials for optical applications. In the project "Metasurfaces for Energy Efficient Devices" (MEEt), the partners are developing metamaterials for solar cells, LEDs and optical sensors and the processes for their production. The joint project will run for three years and is funded by the Fraunhofer International Cooperation and Networking (ICON) program.

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  • EUREC - The Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers – is holding a public workshop “Europe’s PV Value Chain Working Together” on 9 June from 13:30 to 16:30 CET. The online workshop will focus on the possibility for new players in European PV cell manufacturing to work together to achieve cost-efficiency. The agenda also features presentations from research centres on cell technologies at different stages of maturity.

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  • Due to the Corona pandemic, the SOPHIA workshop "PV-Module Reliability" has to be cancelled for the second time and will be postponed to 2022. As a replacement, the organizers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will offer a free compact webinar on June 9-10, 2021.

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  • Agri-Photovoltaik – Projekt APV-RESOLA in Heggelbach beim Bodensee
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Agrivoltaics combines the agricultural use of land with the generation of electrical energy by photovoltaics. It provides the chance to establish solutions for the dual production of food crops and electricity under consideration of soil protection and water savings. The 2nd International AgriVoltaics conference is the first international conference dedicated to this technology. The second conference will be held as an online event from June 14 to 16 and will cover aspects from the basic science to the application. The program contains scientific presentations and invited high-level keynote talks. An exhibition and a technical virtual tour to agrivoltaic installations, from innovative test facilities to best practice examples, will supplement the program.

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  • Electrical storage systems are key components in a decentralized energy supply and thus key to the energy transition. However up to now, storage systems have rarely been installed in medium-sized companies, which are the heart of the German economy. Putting these together, the objective of the DABESI project (Data-driven Design and Operational Management of Decentralized Electric Storage Systems in Medium-Sized Manufacturing Companies) is to economically optimize electricity consumption in these companies by installing storage systems. To carry this out, the five project partners under the leadership of Ernst Knoll Feinmechanik GmbH are now looking for industrial, commercial and agricultural companies to act as best practice partners in the DABESI project.

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