News 2021

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  • "Innovative projects and creative ideas for the circular economy and recycling" were distinguished on March 18, 2021 on the occasion of World Recycling Day. The event is held as an initiative of the World Recycling Association and the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) to highlight the importance of recycling. As part of the event, the Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry e.V. (BDE), the Federal Association of German Steel Recycling and Disposal Companies e. V. (BDSV) and the Association of German Metal Traders e. V. (VDM) distinguish the most promising circular economy start-ups for their ideas. In the last ten years alone, around 2,400 startups have been founded in the circular economy sector. This year's winners include a spin-off project from Fraunhofer ISE, which was awarded third place for a process already patented in the field of circular economy. The innovation developed at Fraunhofer ISE enables the substitution of silver with copper in the production of silicon heterojunction solar cells.

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  • H2Demo: Illustration der direkten Zerlegung von Wasser in Wasserstoff und Sauerstoff mit Hilfe der vom Sonnenlicht bereitgestellten Energie
    © Dr. Fatwa F. Abdi, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH

    Hydrogen is a storable energy carrier, which makes it an essential component in a fossil-free sustainable energy system. Hydrogen technologies not only serve as a link between the transformations in the energy and mobility sectors but also are important for intelligent energy management and hold a key position in industry’s transition toward a sustainable value chain. The major challenge lies in the sustainable, and thus environmentally friendly, hydrogen production in large quantities. Solar energy plays a central role here. In the joint project "H2Demo", funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, eleven partners are working on demonstrators for direct solar water splitting.

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  • Organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the University of Freiburg, the 10th DACH+ Conference on Energy Informatics will be held in Freiburg, Germany from September 16-17, 2021. It is part of a conference series promoting research, development, and the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the energy sector. It is intended to foster the exchange in the German-Austrian-Swiss region and neighboring countries (DACH+). The pre-conference 12th Energy Informatics Doctoral Workshop will be held on September 14-15. The organizers seek high-quality original contributions on the topics of smart energy systems, the integration of intermittent renewable generation and energy efficiency gains through ICT, market approaches and mechanisms for ICT-enabled energy systems as well as data-driven decisions.

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  • The planned spin-off “PV2Plus” of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is among the recipients of the Science4Life Energy Cup in the concept phase. At the awards ceremony on March 2, 2021, the PV2Plus research team was awarded for their development of a patented, low-cost electroplating process which will enable solar cell manufacturers to replace conventional silver contacts with copper contacts. This process can help solve the problem of silver availability and reduce costs for solar cell contacting and thus lead to increased solar cell production which is urgently needed for the energy transition. The project team will receive intensive coaching and will be working with industry experts to optimize its business plan.

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  • With the Green Deal, Europe embarks on the journey to become the first climate-neutral continent. More than ever, photovoltaics (PV) offer great opportunities to accomplish this goal but their full potential of today remains untapped. The time has come for a Photovoltaics Renaissance: Europe is world leading in PV R&D, the cost of solar electricity has decreased significantly, and the number of installations is expected to increase sharply in the coming years. The market conditions offer great opportunities. However, there is a gap in Europe’s PV market: There is hardly any production of PV cells in the EU anymore. The 3rd webinar of the Fraunhofer Green Deal Series, »The Photovoltaics Renaissance- New opportunities for a key enabler of the clean energy transition«, held online on Tuesday, 9 March 2021 - 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. looks into the latest scientific insights into potentials for PV in the EU.

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  • Upconversion
    © Fraunhofer ISE, CC BY

    Photon upconversion, the conversion of low-energy into higher-energy photons, has gained much interest in the fields of materials chemistry and physics. However, an adequate theoretical framework to optimize photonic structure designs for upconversion enhancement has been lacking. Researchers from Fraunhofer ISE have developed a comprehensive simulation tool to model photonic effects on upconversion dynamics. In an international cooperation with R&D groups from Stanford University, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Aarhus University, they now reached an experimental validation of the modeling framework and published their work in Nature Communications.

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