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  • To meet the evolving needs of climate change and the German energy transition, as well as combat the rising energy costs for end consumers, more and more households are adding home storage systems to their PV systems. A major challenge of PV home storage is that the batteries are charged within a few hours in intense sunlight and then discharged at very low power, or partial load, over a long time period during the night. Because of this, battery inverters in home storage systems should have high conversion efficiency over the largest power range possible. In the HyBaG project, which started in 2017, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in collaboration with Kaco New Energy and STS - Spezial-Transformatoren Stockach has developed a low-loss hybrid inverter which functions efficiently even at partial load. With the new inverter, private households can save up to 250 euros annually.

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  • Demonstrator with rotary printing technology
    © ASYS Automatisierungssysteme GmbH

    Unprecedented precision and speed are the outstanding features of a novel high-throughput system for the metallization of silicon solar cells and other functional printing applications. The system is able to realize high-precision coating processes using rotary screen printing and flexographic printing with a throughput corresponding up to 8000 components per hour on an industrial scale. The demonstrator machine was developed by a project consortium under the joint leadership of the ASYS Automatisierungssysteme GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In addition to solar cells, the system enables high-precision printing on single components, e.g. for applications in the field of hydrogen technology, sensor technology or power electronics.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE just presented the data on the net electricity generation for the public power supply for the first half of 2020, which is based on data available on the Energy Charts platform. At 55.8 percent, the share of renewables set a new record. In February, their share even reached a new high of 61.8 percent. In the first six months of 2020, solar and wind fed a total of 102.9 terawatt hours (TWh) into the public grid, compared with 92.3 TWh in the first half of 2019. By contrast, coal-fired power generation declined sharply, with the share from lignite falling to 13.7 percent and hard coal to just 6 percent. Wind power was again the strongest contributor, accounting for 30.6 percent.

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  • Section of a parabolic trough power plant near the town of Ouazazate in Morocco
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Within a few months, the COVID-19 crisis added a dramatic level of urgency to act – beyond single national interests. In light of the current discussion on the Green Deal launched as a strategic priority by the European Commission, a joint statement has been co-signed by 176 companies, R&D entities, and associations across Europe. The initiative lead by the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA) is calling for recognition of the European solar thermal industry’s important role in the fight against climate change and in providing immediately available solutions to decarbonize energy systems.

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  • CalLab PV Modules solar simulator

    CalLab PV Modules of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has been re-accredited by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) as an independent calibration laboratory according to the new standard DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025: 2018. The laboratory reached a record measurement uncertainty of 1.1 percent in the calibration of photovoltaic modules. The measurement reproducibility has only 0.2 percent deviation.

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  • miniplant for research on methanol synthesis
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Methanol will gain importance as a chemical energy carrier in the course of the energy transformation. As part of the "Power-to-Methanol – Green Methanol" project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE successfully commissioned a miniplant for methanol synthesis –the production of methanol from hydrogen and CO2 – in December 2019. Featuring a measurement technique with high temporal and spatial resolution, the setup enables researching methanol synthesis, among other things, within the framework of so-called Power to Liquid processes on an industrial scale. Here, the main focus of the investigations is on dynamic reactor operation and unconventional gas compositions using hydrogen produced by electrolysis and gas streams containing CO2.

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  • Brussels/Freiburg, May 5, 2020 - The coalition ‘Solar Europe Now’, which has been officially launched today, is calling for the recognition of solar energy as a key driver to deliver on the European Green Deal ambitions. This coalition which gathers currently over 90 actors from the European solar value chain is concerned that the current lack of financial and R&D impetus in the sector will hinder its development, halt the EU’s industrial sovereignty in strategic technologies and limit the EU’s effectiveness in achieving decarbonisation throughout the continent.

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  • Electrical trucks and other commercial vehicles can save energy with solar energy
    © Schnitzler Werbung Freiburg GmbH

    Heavy-load vehicle traffic is responsible for 6 percent of the CO2 emissions in the European Union. Solar electricity generated directly on the vehicle can improve this balance by 5 to 7 percent. In the “Lade-PV” project under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, four industrial companies and two Fraunhofer institutes want to demonstrate the market feasibility of PV applications in the heavy-load transport. The aim is to develop an overall concept that makes the widespread use of integrated PV modules on electrical and other commercial vehicles (over 3.5 tons) possible.

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  • Dr. Andreas Bett
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Dr. Andreas Bett is institute director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, a position he holds together with Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning since 2017. Now he has accepted the call as a W3 Professor of Solar Energy Materials and Technologies in the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Freiburg. This appointment further strengthens the close connection between Fraunhofer ISE and the University of Freiburg and brings the total number of Fraunhofer ISE researchers teaching at the University of Freiburg up to twelve, including now both institute directors and an additional colleague of Fraunhofer ISE with a professorship as well as numerous Fraunhofer ISE researchers with teaching positions.

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  • Press Release #5 / 2020

    ArKol Project: Tapping into the Thermal Potential of Façades

    March 25, 2020

    Slats and demonstrator of the solar thermal venetian blind
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    About 30 percent of the energy consumption in Germany is used for space heating and warm water. Facades which function as a “thermal wall” can help bring on the transformation of our heating system, yet they have been given little attention up to now. In the ArKol project, a research consortium led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed two novel solar thermal façade collectors: a solar thermal strip collector and a solar thermal jalousie. As an integral part of the façade, both elements offer an architecturally pleasing experience.

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