Press Releases 2013

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  • Prof. Dr. Adolf Goetzberger
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    “It’s been an exciting journey so far. I’m still amazed sometimes at how far we’ve already come with solar energy and I’m happy to still be around to enjoy the fruits of my labor.” This quotation from Prof. Dr. Adolf Goetzberger on being named European Inventor of the Year four years ago still holds true. On November 29, 2013, the founder of the Fraunhofer ISE is celebrating his 85th birthday with family, colleagues from the institute and companions alike.

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  • Simulated current density distribution
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Despite difficult times for the solar industry, Europe remains at the technological forefront in the field of photovoltaics. Fraunhofer ISE demonstrates this fact with its new record: 24 percent efficiency for a silicon solar cell which uses an n-type base material and a novel concept for the rear contact. The special feature of this cell is a so-called passivated contact covering the entire rear surface.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany has been awarded project funds within the framework of the U.S. SunShot Initiative. They are one of only three research partners in the program who are not from the USA. The SunShot Initiative was started in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Its aim is to reduce the electricity generation costs for solar electricity in the U.S. down to six U.S. cents per kilowatt hour, thereby making solar energy competitive with conventional fossil fuel energy sources. For over 30 years, Fraunhofer ISE has been working on increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells.

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  • Martin Schubert receives the Ulrich Gösele Young Scientist Award 2013
    © Photo ProfessorKoichiKakimoto

    Dr. Martin Schubert of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE was awarded the Ulrich Gösele Young Scientist Award 2013 for his research work on the measurement, simulation and origin of impurities in multicrystalline silicon. The award ceremony took place on October 23, on the occasion of the 7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon for Solar Cells (CSSC-7) in Fukuoka, Japan.

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  • round robin tests of the four internationally top calibration laboratories
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    In a round robin test, the Fraunhofer ISE CalLab PV Modules compared their results with three other top international measurement labs for photovoltaic (PV) modules: NREL in the USA, AIST in Japan and the JRC/ESTI of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. The results of the round robin showed that the measurement precision in all four leading laboratories was comparable, namely with a deviation of ±1% from the mean. For investors in the growing global PV market, this is good news with consideration to quality assurance.

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  • Laboratory prototype of a DC/DC converter with gallium nitride (GaN) power electronics
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Highly modern power transistors based on gallium nitride (GaN) enable power electronic switches to operate at much higher switching frequencies compared to those based on silicon (Si). An increased power density per volume and per weight, reduced costs, less material use and, in the case of a mobile system, increased system efficiency are among the advantages. Solutions and concepts for high-frequency power electronics of the future shall be developed in the collaborative project “GaN-resonant – Efficient, highly compact high frequency power electronics with GaN transistors”, which is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). “GaN-resonant“ was launched on July 1, 2013 and will be funded with around 1.2 million euro over the next three years by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in the context of its funding announcement “Leistungselektronik zur Energieeffizienzsteigerung (Power Electronics for Increasing Energy Efficiency)“.

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  • Press Release #22 / 2013

    World Record Solar Cell with 44.7% Efficiency

    23.9.2013

    World record solar cell with 44.7% efficiency
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin jointly announced today having achieved a new world record for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells. Surpassing competition after only over three years of research, and entering the roadmap at world class level, a new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns. This indicates that 44.7% of the solar spectrum's energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy. This is a major step towards reducing further the costs of solar electricity and continues to pave the way to the 50% efficiency roadmap.

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  • Polymer sample during UV aging in a climatic chamber
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    An exhibition taking place in front of the Congress Center Concert Hall in Freiburg between September 23 and 25 unveils how solar collectors manufactured from plastic may look in the future. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, which has been conducting research and development in this area for many years, is using the event to present polymeric solar thermal collectors and components alongside its industrial partners. Under the motto efficiency and design, the exhibits provide an insight into research trends and product innovations for solar thermal applications. The exhibition is taking place as part of the Solar Heating and Cooling Conference, for which Fraunhofer ISE is the scientific chair.

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  • Storages of a solar thermal installation
    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Solar thermal systems are able to meet a significant portion of heating requirements in many industrial and commercial settings. For many years, Fraunhofer ISE has been committed to optimizing solar process heat and launching it on the market. The institute recently organized an expert workshop entitled “The Emerging Market for Solar Process Heat.” What’s more, one of Fraunhofer ISE’s current research projects is working on a concept for utilizing solar heat in the laundry business.

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  • The 6th Solar Summit Freiburg takes place on October 23, 2013, in the conference center Konzerthaus Freiburg. Fraunhofer ISE researchers as well as other experts from research and industry will present the newest highlights and trends in solar energy conversion. The main focus will be on grid integration. Registration for the Solar Summit Freiburg is now open. Directly after the conference, the annual meeting of the FVEE (ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare Energien) will also be held at the Konzerthaus Freiburg this year.

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