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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    With the grid expansion and modernization process for the German energy transformation, a growing number of applications for advanced power electronics and grid technologies arise. Power electronic devices, or converters, are key for connecting power supplies, consumers and storage systems and are playing an ever more important role in our energy supply. Further, these devices must be tailored to meet the increasingly complex requirements that ensure the flexible and reliable operation of our future energy system. Against this background, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is constructing a new lab site for the research, development and testing of the grid integration of renewable power, including controls for the low, medium and high voltage grids. Already most of the impressive lab infrastructure has been acquired and installed, and the new facility in the industrial area in North Freiburg is taking concrete shape.

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  • Multikristalline Weltrekordsolarzelle aus n-Typ HPM Siliciummaterial
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The potential of photovoltaics (PV) has not yet been exhausted. Both industry and research continue to work intensively on increasing the efficiency and reducing the costs of solar cells, the basic component of every PV power plant. Now researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have produced a multicrystalline silicon solar cell with 21.9 percent efficiency, successfully bringing the world record back to Freiburg.

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  • Multikristalliner Silicium-Wafer
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    From March 8-10, 2017, an International Conference on Crystal Growth is to be held in Freiburg under the auspices of the German Association of Crystal Growth DGKK and the Swiss Society for Crystallography SGK-SSCR. The conference, jointly organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Crystallography department of the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University Freiburg and the University of Geneva, is to be held in the seminar rooms of the Chemistry Faculty of the University of Freiburg. Furthermore, the Young DGKK will hold a seminar for young scientists at Fraunhofer ISE on March 7, 2017.

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  • Press Release #4 / 2017

    Reliability of TPedge PV Modules Successfully Tested

    7.2.2017

    TPedge-Modul mit 2 mm-Dünnglas während der Flächenlastprüfung
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The TPedge concept reduces the material and production costs of PV modules, since encapsulation foils and the lamination process are no longer needed. At the same time, the aging stability of the PV module increases appreciably. In the project “TPedge,” researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with their partners have developed processes so that the innovative PV modules can be manufactured on an industrial scale.

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  • © Photo G.tecz Engineering GmbH

    When integrating renewable energy into the building envelope, solar thermal plays a significant role. So far, solar thermal products were generally based on metal components that conduct heat, absorb a high fraction of solar radiation and emit little infrared radiation to prevent thermal loss. Using this state of the art technology, building integration and architectural aspects are however often neglected. In the »TABSOLAR II« project, Fraunhofer ISE, together with partners, is following the new approach to produce solar-thermal collectors made from ultra-high performance concrete. Suitable procedures have already been tested. The project team is now working on the next steps for later product manufacture and connection concepts for building integration. The current developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Through optimized operation management, up to 30 % of building energy consumption could be saved. Even low-cost investment measures could result in optimization and significant reduction of costs. In order to save energy, a detailed analysis of the building operation is necessary. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ISE developed the energy monitoring platform MONDAS, which provides all components necessary for collecting, saving, processing and visualizing relevant time-series data regarding building operation. The platform successfully pools software modules to a high-performance overall system. It will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

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  • Press Release #1 / 2017

    Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

    16.1.2017

    © Photo Facade-Lab

    Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

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  • SmartCalc.CTM
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Research and industry invest lots of know-how in improving solar cell efficiency. In order that PV modules benefit from the advances in cell efficiency, the cell-to-module integration process must be performed reliably with low losses. With this in mind, the photovoltaic module group at Fraunhofer ISE developed the software SmartCalc.CTM, which enables manufacturers of PV modules and materials to optimize the assembly and material combination in a PV module, before fabricating a prototype.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power electronic systems in aviation applications more efficient.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    On November 11, 2016 at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE honored Prof. Eicke R. Weber’s achievements at a scientific symposium on the global energy transformation. Having reached retirement age, Prof. Weber will step down from his position as Institute Director at the end of the year. Weber gave the German solar research a voice that is observed worldwide. With great enthusiasm he supported the energy transformation on both the scientific and political arenas. At the Institute, he organized the structure and business areas to optimally meet the demands of the energy transformation. From 2006 to 2016, he was able to double the number of employees to 1100 today. Over the same time period, the operating budget, based primarily on self-acquired projects, grew from ca. 25 million euros up to 73 million euros (2015).

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