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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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  • 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 commercial load) possible.

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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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  • 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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  • Solar farm Sekdoorn
    © BayWa r.e.

    Commissioned by the renewable energy developer BayWa r.e., the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE investigated the technical potential of floating photovoltaics (FPV) on pit lakes in former lignite mines in Germany. Such FPV plants that basically float on man-made lakes can help to alleviate the competition for land use and help expand PV capacity in Germany. Floating PV technology has several advantages over ground-mounted systems; for instance, greater power production due to the cooling effect of water or higher efficiency of land use. The study estimates a potential PV capacity of 56 GWp for installations on pit lakes in former lignite mines in Germany. After subtracting the estimated area use for recreational activities, tourism, nature and land conservation on pit lakes, there remains an economical potential of 2.74 GWp.

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  • Press Release #28 / 2019

    First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

    November 14, 2019

    PV pilot plant
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Agrophotovoltaics (APV) allows for the dual harvesting of crops and photovoltaic electricity on the same piece of land, providing sustainable solutions under consideration of soil protection and water conservation. The first international conference on APV systems AgriVoltaics2020 will take place in Perpignan, France from August 26-28, 2020 under the motto “Launching Agrivoltaics World Wide.” The conference is organized by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the PSE Conferences & Consulting GmbH in Freiburg.

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  • Efficient heat pump using the climate-friendly refrigerant propane
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    The use of environmental energy to supply heating results in less carbon dioxide emissions. Also the emissions from the electricity generation are steadily decreasing. Therefore, heat pumps are a key heating technology for the future. On the other hand, heat pumps still primarily use refrigerants that are harmful to the environment. Now researchers at Fraunhofer ISE, however, have developed a climate-friendly alternative, which uses propane, a natural gas. The greenhouse gas potential is about 500 times less than conventional refrigerants and thus extremely low. Another advantage is that the new brine-to-water prototype requires only one fourth of the refrigerant compared to conventional heat pumps available on the market at the same power. A propane heat pump based on this development would be the first-of-a-kind in Germany that is permitted in interior spaces of residential buildings without implementing additional safety measures. This new technology shall now be improved upon. For the heat pump industry, new refrigerants are especially important: As of January 1, 2020 first bans on harmful refrigerants take effect in the European Union.

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  • In-line etching equipment PV-TEC
    © Fraunhofer ISE/ Dirk Mahler

    From industry-driven solar cells with efficiency values of more than 22 percent to effective new metallization processes for contacting solar cells — the Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center (PV-TEC) at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg has enjoyed numerous technological successes. The research factory, which was rebuilt and significantly expanded in 2018, is the largest R&D center for crystalline silicon solar cells in Europe.

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