News 2023

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  • Dr. Oliver Höhn, researcher at the University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). With the sum of two million euros and funding for a plasma etching system for semiconductor materials in groups III and V of the periodic table, the ERC grant will support Höhn in his research on highly efficient solar cells over the next five years as of 2024. Across Europe, 2130 scientists applied for this year’s ERC call for proposals.

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  • A team of researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Research ISE and NWO-Institute AMOLF (Amsterdam) have fabricated a multijunction solar cell with an efficiency of 36.1 percent, the highest efficiency ever reached for a solar cell based on silicon. The team presented the new record at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC) in Lisbon on Thursday, September 21, 2023. The research project was funded through the Fraunhofer ICON program.

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  • Perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells achieve efficiencies of over 30 percent and are frontrunners for the next generation of solar cells. A research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has now been able to demonstrate that triple-junction solar cells consisting of perovskite-perovskite-silicon subcells also hold considerable promise and have an even greater efficiency potential than double-junction tandem cells. As part of the Triumph research project funded by the European Commission and the RIESEN research project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the team developed a triple-junction solar cell with an open-circuit voltage of over 2.8 volts. This record figure confirms that the cell has excellent material properties for generating electricity, leading the scientists to deduce that it has an efficient solar cell architecture.

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  • HoloSolis SAS, a company founded in 2022 by EIT InnoEnergy, IDEC GROUP and TSE, plans to build a production line for both PV solar cells and modules. The new company will be located close to the French-German border in the district of Sarreguemines. The factory aims to start production in 2025 and, at full capacity, will have a production capacity of five gigawatts per year. Based on a strategic collaboration agreement signed this summer, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will support HoloSolis in the technology selection and factory planning during the conceptual design and construction phases.

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  • News #27 / 2023

    Efficient Mass Production of Fuel Cells

    August 14, 2023

    Membran-Elektroden-Einheit (MEA)
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE are currently optimizing the large-scale production of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Within the joint project "TiKaBe", innovative catalyst inks for use in different industrial coating processes are being developed. In a second re-search project called "BI-FIT", the focus is on shortening and simplifying the break-in procedure, during which the initial conditioning of fuel cells takes place. The researchers will be presenting current insights into their work at the international expo and conference hy-fcell from September 13-14, 2023 in Stuttgart. At Booth 4D55, the institute will be showing membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for heavy-duty applications as well as work on cell compo-nent characterization and lifetime testing.

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  • The hybrid combination of solar thermal power plants, photovoltaics and storage promises cost-effective and stable electricity generation. Just such a system is to be developed in the newly launched „HybridKraft" project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection and headed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. The project focus is on developing an electric heater for molten salt storage tank that is suitable for large-scale power plants. Such solutions which convert renewable electricity into high-temperature heat for direct use or storage are also interesting for industrial applications.

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  • Organic photovoltaics (OPV) opens up new areas of application for solar energy thanks to its climate friendly and inexpensive production and its flexible and potentially transparent solar cells. To help this technology achieve a market breakthrough, research institutes worldwide are working to improve the efficiency and scalability of organic solar cells. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Materials Research Center FMF at the University of Freiburg have now improved their own efficiency record, announced back in September 2020, for an organic solar cell with an area of one square centimeter. Now, with a new record efficiency of 15.8 percent, the research team at Fraunhofer ISE has again set the world record in this category.

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  • The transformation of our energy system increasingly requires directed systemic solutions and approaches. As the largest solar research institute in Europe, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has been developing solutions for a sustainable and climate-neutral energy supply for over 40 years. To better align and network within and across its research and development services on an interdisciplinary basis, Fraunhofer ISE is reorganizing its competencies in the areas of energy provision, energy distribution, energy storage and energy utilization. As of July 2023, the institute will be divided into four divisions called "Photovoltaics," "Power Solutions," "Heat and Buildings," and "Hydrogen Technologies". An additional cross-disciplinary research area entitled "System Integration" will be established.

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  • In June 2023, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the government of Colombia, represented by the Minister of Energy, Irene Vélez Torres, and the Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, Germán Umaña Mendoza, and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft , represented by Executive Vice President for Innovation, Transfer and IP Management , Alexander Kurz, and the Division Director of Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Christopher Hebling.

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  • Perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells promise efficiencies of over 30 percent. Regularly new world record values are announced by research laboratories worldwide. These world records, however, are realized on areas that are about 400 times smaller than the current wafer size of a typical industrial silicon solar cell. Solar researchers are currently investigating several promising routes for the scalable and economical production of these tandem solar cells. In the recently launched research projects "Pero-Si-SCALE" and "LiverPool" funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is building an independent technology platform for scaling up perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells and modules. The goal is the further development and analysis of cell and module designs as well as manufacturing processes which make a rapid transfer to industry possible.

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