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  • Following the Bundestag’s decision of June 2021 on the Climate Protection Act (KSG), which tightened climate regulations and moved the goal for climate neutrality in Germany to 2045, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE recalculated the results of its study "Pathways to a Climate-Neutral Energy System" with its energy system model REMod. The Institute works with four scenarios to analyze the effects of societal trends on achieving the climate targets. The results show that the reduction targets are still achievable by 2045, but along different paths and at different costs.

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  • This year the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE celebrates its 40th anniversary. As the largest solar research institute in Europe with currently around 1300 employees, Fraunhofer ISE has been contributing to Germany’s energy transition since it was founded in 1981. Today, the institute has become a major global trailblazer and research partner for an energy supply based on 100 percent renewable energy.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is developing refrigeration circuits for heat pumps which shall operate as efficiently as possible with low amounts of the climate-friendly refrigerant propane. This research is carried out in project “LC150 - Development of a Refrigerant-reduced Heat Pump Module with Propane”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi. In an automated cross-evaluation, a team from the institute is testing various components of heat pumps on the large scale, in which dozens of component combinations under different operating parameters are investigated. The main objectives are to further reduce the volume of required refrigerant, to identify methodological correlations and to obtain data for the simulation of heat pump design. The measurement campaign collects an abundance of parameter variations 24/7 over one year, thus generating a unique database.

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  • Press Release #26 / 2021

    Electric Truck with Fully Integrated Photovoltaics Picks Up Speed

    October 25, 2021

    A heavy-duty truck weighing 18 tons and equipped with a 3.5 kilowatt-peak photovoltaic system is now driving on Germany's roads. The commercial vehicle with integrated high-voltage photovoltaic system and feed-in to the 800-volt traction battery has been approved for road traffic. The solar power produced directly on the vehicle can cover 5 to 10 percent of the truck's energy needs. In the Lade-PV project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, with its project partners from industry and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, has developed solar PV modules and power electronics for integration in commercial vehicles. This truck, the first equipped with these PV modules, has now passed the technical inspection, marking a milestone towards more climate-friendly road freight transport.

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  • M10 Industries AG and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and have developed a matrix shingle concept for connecting silicon solar cells and a new stringer for manufacturing novel matrix shingle modules. The stringer, which arranges the shingle solar cells offset from each other similar to bricks in a masonry wall, was built within the Shirkan project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). This shingle arrangement results in increased efficiency, a homogeneous appearance and improved shading tolerance of photovoltaic modules. The first prototypes for matrix shingle modules will be shown by Fraunhofer ISE at Intersolar Europe Restart 2021 (October 6-8, Messe München, Booth A6.370).

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  • Cost efficient climate change mitigation requires installing a total of 20-80 TWp photovoltaics until 2050 and 80-170 TWp until 2100, at least a hundred times more than the 707 GWp standing at the end of 2020. A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has now analyzed whether the projected growth is feasible from a resource point of view- and if so, under which conditions, in the paper »Technological learning for resource efficient terawatt scale photovoltaics« (Energy & Environmental Science, September 2021). The currently high rate of innovation must be upheld to avoid resource constraints, they find.

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  • In a new study, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have calculated that silicon photovoltaic modules manufactured in the European Union produce 40 percent less CO2 than modules manufactured in China. Using a life cycle analysis (LCA), the research team compared the CO2 footprint of monocrystalline solar modules manufactured in Germany, Europe and China. In the process, they also found that glass-glass modules enable an additional emissions reduction ranging between 7.5 to 12.5 percent compared to PV modules with backsheet films, regardless of their production location.

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  • Press Release #21 / 2021

    First agrivoltaic system for carbon-neutral orcharding being tested

    September 14, 2021

    As part of the project “APV-Obstbau”, BayWa r.e. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have cooperated with other research partners to set up an agrivoltaic system for research purposes at the “Bio-Obsthof Nachtwey” in Gelsdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is the first system of its kind in Germany. The total test area for the project covers around 9100 square meters. The agrivoltaic system, which has a capacity of 258 kWp, has been installed on approximately one third of the plot.

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  • Press Release #18 / 2021

    Project PV-Live: New solar irradiance data set published

    August 04, 2021

    Reliable projections and forecasts of photovoltaic generation are becoming more and more important to maintain a stable power grid and for solar energy trading on the electric power exchange. To improve such projections, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the transmission system operator TransnetBW have set up a network of measurement stations which record the current irradiance conditions in the control area on a minute-by-minute basis. These data are also extremely valuable for research in solar energy meteorology. The project partners have released the first quality-controlled data sets, thus making measurement data since September 2020, now publicly available.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, supported by PSE Projects GmbH, has been publishing the PV Report on a regular basis for the past decade. The report contains a compilation of the most important facts on photovoltaics (PV) in Germany, the European Union and worldwide, documenting, in particular, the development of the photovoltaic market, solar cell and module efficiency as well as the prices over the last decades. The latest edition is freely available on the Fraunhofer ISE website as of today.

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