Press Releases 2015

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The transformation of the energy system in Germany is a declared political goal of the federal government. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by at least 80 percent under 1990 levels. This necessitates a massive reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions, forcing a fundamental restructuring of the present energy system towards a largely carbon-free energy supply. The transformation requires major investments and will not happen of its own accord. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE now presented a study which investigates the system and cost developments of the German energy system transformation in line with meeting the declared climate targets. The study covers the period starting from today up to 2050. The model-based study considers all relevant energy sectors and energy carriers to provide a detailed analysis on how Germany can achieve its climate goals through efficient energy use and renewable energy. Considering various scenarios, simulations show different, cost-optimized pathways for achieving the energy transformation.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were developed and produced by the Institute and demonstrate the interplay of different technologies. Together with industry, Fraunhofer ISE developed a crystalline PV module called “TPedge” using a process that saves both time and money and replaces the lamination step. Innovative back-contacted solar cells from the Institute’s own production are integrated into the module. When the energy-efficient lab building was inaugurated in 2013, a few of the PV modules were installed on the façade for test purposes. Now the solar façade is complete and all 70 modules are in operation.

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  • from Fraunhofer Research News / 2015

    Solar vehicle charging at home

    2.11.2015

    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Owners of home photovoltaic systems will soon be able to make their households even more sustainable, because PV power is also suitable for charging personal electronic vehicles. A home energy management system created by Fraunhofer researchers incorporates electric vehicles into the household energy network and creates charging itineraries.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has set a new efficiency record for silicon solar cells. For the first time, an efficiency of 25.1 percent has been measured for a both sides-contacted silicon solar cell. Having a simple rear side contact without any patterning, this type of solar cell converts one quarter of the incident sunlight into electricity. The new concept for the solar cell rear side holds great potential for further increases in efficiency.

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  • Press Release #26 / 2015

    20% Efficient Solar Cell on EpiWafer

    14.9.2015

    © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Recently NexWafe GmbH was spun out of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, in order to bring the Institute’s kerfless EpiWafer technology to the market and rapid commercialization. In the EpiWafer technology, a thick crystalline silicon layer is epitaxially deposited and subsequently detached after growth to produce a freestanding wafer of standard thickness. Due to the radical changes in the manufacturing value chain, EpiWafers can be produced at an appreciably lower cost compared to the traditional wafer manufacturing process. The EpiWafer is a direct substitute for conventional n- or p-doped silicon mono-crystalline wafers.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have developed a new version of reference cells for calibrating solar cells. At the institute’s calibration laboratory, a new cell type based on negative, conductive silicon material (n-type), was incorporated while the structure of the reference cell was optimized. For the calibration of different types of solar cells, the reference cell’s spectral response can be accurately adjusted using optical filters, thereby significantly reducing any measurement uncertainty. The new version of the reference cells meets all international standards (World PV Scale and IEC 60904-2). The new cells will allow test laboratories and cell and module manufacturers in particular to significantly improve the quality of their measurements. The outdoor version of the cell also makes it possible to take exact measurements of solar insolation in the field.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have developed a highly compact and efficient inverter for use in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for electrical devices. The demonstrator, which contains innovative silicon carbide components, was developed in cooperation with an industry partner and achieved an efficiency of 98.7 percent. The research and development findings can be applied to other areas of electronic power conversion in which weight and efficiency play a key role, e. g. electric mobility or portable power supply.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    Solar power gained from photovoltaics (PV) will soon be the cheapest form of electricity in many regions of the world, as a recent study on long-term scenarios by Fraunhofer ISE on behalf of Agora Energiewende shows. In sunnier regions, for applications in rural areas, one kilowatt hour (kWh) gained from solar energy already today is cheaper than a kWh produced by a diesel system, which is due to the fast growing global market for PV. In this context, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Canopus Foundation will put the focus of the second »Solar for All« contest on solar village and mini-grid solutions and their highly recognized potential for rural development. Further information on submission criteria will be released late 2015.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is bundling its research activities in the field of battery systems in a new laboratory. Together with its partners, it offers the industry a unique array of services: from investigations of single battery cells through the development of complete battery systems up to the optimal integration of entire storage systems in different applications with respect to both power and communications technology. The researchers use the laboratory to investigate, among other things, the thermal behavior of battery cells and modules using a highly precise calorimeter. The results enable battery systems with maximum safety, long lifetime and high power efficiency to be developed.

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  • © Photo Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has opened its new test and development center for heat pumps and chillers in Freiburg, thus doing justice to the central importance of these technologies in the energy transition. The Institute offers industry completely new possibilities to have their components, devices and entire systems developed and tested to ensure highly efficient heating and cooling performance.

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