News 2018

  • EpiWafer production facility
    © NexWafe

    NexWafe, a Fraunhofer ISE spin off company that is industrializing its breakthrough technology for epitaxial fabrication of silicon wafers for solar photovoltaics (PV), today announced the appointment of Peter Pauli as the new chairman of the board as of September 1, 2018. He is succeeding Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber, who served as the chairman for the past two years. The shareholders and board members welcome Peter Pauli in his new position and express gratitude to Prof. Dr. Weber for his valuable contributions. From 2002 to 2016, Peter Pauli was the driving force in developing Meyer Burger Technology.

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  • From May 22-24, Oslo is hosting the URBAN FUTURE global conference 2019 – one of the signature events of the Oslo European Green Capital 2019. About 3000 city changers from more than 60 countries will be attending sessions with 200 speakers on urban mobility, built environment, green business & innovation and leadership as well as numerous field trips in and around Oslo. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is an official partner of the conference.

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  • CSP test facility
    © Kelvion Thermal Solutions Pty Ltd and ENEXIO Germany GmbH

    The international research and development project MinWaterCSP addresses the challenge of reducing the water consumption of CSP plants and improving thermal cycle efficiencies of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. After three years of work, 13 partners from 6 different EU and non-EU countries have developed new technologies for reducing water consumed for cooling and mirror cleaning. During the 2nd International Conference on the “Reduction of Water consumption in CSP plants” in Stellenbosch, South Africa (7-8 November 2018), the consortium presents its final results.

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  • Solar thermal blinds
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Digitization, climate change, scarcity of resources and housing shortages - these trends call for society, business and research alike to change their ways. The construction industry also has to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to meet the constantly growing demands placed on buildings. It is becoming increasingly important to think in cross-industry terms and act via networks. The member institutes of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance are working continuously on interdisciplinary solutions and systems to actively shape the "living spaces of the future". With its special show at BAU 2019, Hall C2, Booth 528, the Fraunhofer alliance will be presenting innovative products and system solutions from its construction research.

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  • Over the past decades, the renewable generation of electricity by photovoltaic solar energy (PV) has come down in costs dramatically and is now economically competitive with conventional generation using fossil fuels or nuclear reactors in an increasing number of markets. Convinced that solar electricity will play a dominant role in the energy supply of 2050 and given the leading role held by European research institutes in the development of PV technology, awardees of the Becquerel Prize collectively drew up a resolution. At the largest European photovoltaic conference, the 35th EU PVSEC in Brussels, the award-winning European scientists collectively expressed their concern that the European photovoltaic industry is threatened to be lost due to the strong competition from Asia. In particular, this pertains to the cell and module production, which makes up a large part of the value chain. This loss presents a strategic risk to the future electricity supply of Europe.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, invite to the 2018 SOPHIA workshop »PV Module Reliability« from September 4 to 5 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The workshop will feature reliability aspects in connection with new challenges imposed by novel components of PV modules, presently observed failure modes and the further development of suitable test cycles towards service life testing. The workshop will be embedded in a EUROREG workshop which is intended to provide a forum of global trends and current challenges on photovoltaics and nanophotonics in the fields of research, industry and market.

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  • PV power production
    © Fraunhofer ISE, Graphics: B. Burger

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE reported that solar power production in Germany reached an all-time record of 6.7 TWh in July 2018. The installed photovoltaic capacity in Germany generated 15.1 % of the total electricity production in July, ahead of nuclear power (13.8 %). During the present heat wave, nuclear and coal plants are operating at reduced capacity in order to limit the amount of cooling water flowing into surrounding rivers and thus rising water temperatures. In this case, photovoltaic power fulfills an important grid-stabilizing function.

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  • The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Freiburg Academy of Continuing Education (FRAUW) at the University of Freiburg are offering a joint master’s degree prgram for continuing education and three certificate programs in the areas of public safety, energy and sustainability. This cooperation between the Fraunhfer-Gesellschaft and the University of Freiburg has now been solidified and permanently strengthened through a master agreement. The partners are able to pursue their joint goal of supporting continuing education and developing new skill sets through this initiative. The agreement has been signed on July 31, 2018. Along with FRAUW and the Fraunofer Academy, other partners include the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI.

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  • monolithic photocathode
    © ACS Energy Letters

    Hydrogen will play a central role as a storage medium in sustainable energy systems. An international team of researchers has now succeeded in raising the efficiency of producing hydrogen from direct solar water-splitting to a record 19 per cent. They did so by combining a tandem solar cell of III-V semiconductors with a catalyst of rhodium nanoparticles and a crystalline titanium dioxide coating. Teams from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, Technische Universität Ilmenau, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE participated in the development work. One part of the experiments took place at the Institute for Solar Fuels in the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

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