Press Releases 2018

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  • Minimizing the water consumption of Solar Thermal Power (CSP) plants is an important issue, as this kind of solar power generation is often found in arid areas where the solar irradiation is high. Since these regions are also dusty, the associated yield reduction due to local dust deposition and the costs of cleaning are relevant factors. Particularly in regions lacking water, innovative water saving solutions for cooling and mirror cleaning are needed to significantly reduce the water consumption of solar thermal power plants. Any conflict of water use should be avoided to allow high acceptance of the technology. In the MinWaterCSP project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE worked together with its partners on several approaches to reduce the water consumption in CSP plants.

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  • Prof. Adolf Goetzberger
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    “I have always been interested in problems that were thought to be unsolvable.” This quote stemming from Prof. Dr. Adolf Goetzberger stands both for his scientific career as well as for his unwavering conviction as founder of Fraunhofer ISE, which he launched and led to success. Goetzberger not only advanced photovoltaic technology, a key pillar of a sustainable future energy system, but from the beginning on also incorporated research on the systemic aspects of the energy transformation at the institute, already perceiving the importance.

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  • High-Concentration Photovoltaic Module with high efficiency of 41.4%
    © Fraunhofer ISE/Alexander Wekkeli

    Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) has by far achieved the highest efficiency for the conversion of sunlight into electricity. The basis for this latest achievement lies in the special multi-junction solar cells as well as the perfect interplay between the cell and the module optics. In the EU-funded project CPVMatch, a consortium of research institutions and companies has demonstrated how to optimize both of these aspects and thus better exploit the potential of this technology. The achieved module efficiency of 41.4 % is the highest value ever measured for a photovoltaic module.

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  • SCR connector
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Heraeus are researching and optimizing novel, selectively coated cell connectors in a joint research project. The Selectively Coated Ribbon (SCRTM) cell connector achieves an average gain of 1.9 W in conventional 60-cell solar modules. The connector can be used in industrial PV module manufacturing without system modification and at no extra cost. Fraunhofer ISE has successfully tested modules with the SCR connector in its accredited TestLab PV Modules. Heraeus and Ulbrich developed a process for the production of the efficient cell connector and presented the new product to the professional audience in September 2018 at the EU PVSEC in Brussels.

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  • Press Release #23 / 2018

    Chillventa 2018: Fraunhofer ISE Puts Focus on Heat Pumps

    11.10.2018

    Heat pumps are a key technology for the energy transformation, since they cover the heating demand efficiently and sustainably. While the market for heat pumps in detached and semi-detached homes is growing continuously, there is still potential for heat pump use in multi-family homes and for commercial and industrial applications. At the Chillventa, the international trade fair for cooling, air-conditioning, ventilation and heat pumps, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE focuses on the potential and the current challenges facing heat pumps in a special presentation. The Chillventa trade fair takes place from 16-18 October 2018 in the City of Nuremberg.

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  • Inline characterization
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Photovoltaics is booming worldwide. If one considers PV installations in 2017, Europe has lost its pioneering role and now holds fourth place behind China, the USA and India. On the other hand, Europe is leading worldwide in PV research and development as demonstrated by the 35th European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition EU PVSEC, held this year in Brussels from 24-28 September 2018. Fraunhofer ISE, Europe’s largest solar research institute, is represented at the conference with over 60 contributions in the form of talks, posters, session chairs and two plenary speeches as well as a booth at the exhibition.

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  • human neural network

    Similar to the human brain, artificial neural networks develop action strategies autonomously using examples (i.e. training data) experienced in the practice. The network structure is based on the neurobiological findings on the functioning of the human brain. A logical following is to apply such network structures for the technical control of systems. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has done just that and developed self-learning artificial neural networks (ANN) for controlling solar thermal heating systems in the project “ANNsolar – Neural Networks for the Use in Solar Thermal Systems.” The system gathers data on the thermal building dynamics, the change in heating demand due to the solar radiation incident on the building envelope, and the state of charge of the thermal energy storage dependent on the operating conditions. With this basis, the network can predict the future thermal conditions without a simulation. The neural networks learn the respective dependencies autonomously.

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  • Fraunhofer ISE’s Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center
    © Fraunhofer ISE/Dirk Mahler

    Opened as a research factory for solar cells twelve years ago, the Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center PV-TEC at Fraunhofer ISE is an important player in the piloting of crystalline silicon solar cells. The unique service center for the entire PV value chain helps to close the gap between research and industry, making it a pivotal driver of innovation transfer. After a fire badly damaged the facility last year, the PV-TEC technology platform was officially reopened on July 9, 2018, complete with brand new equipment.

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  • Press Release #18 / 2018

    Agrophotovoltaics Goes Global: from Chile to Vietnam

    20.6.2018

    APV pilot plant in Curacaví, Chile
    © Fraunhofer Chile

    Agrophotovoltaics (APV), a technology which combines the production of solar electricity and crops on the same land, has already been successfully demonstrated in pilot projects in several European countries. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in cooperation with the Innovation Group “APV-Resola” have proven the feasibility of Agrophotovoltaics with a 194 kWp APV pilot system realized on a farm near Lake Constance in Germany. The project results showed that APV increases the land-use efficiency by 60 percent. “The next step is to establish a proof of concept for the APV system technology in developing and threshold countries. Due to the higher levels of solar radiation in these countries, APV can make better use of its strengths. The potential is enormous,” says Stephan Schindele, project head of Agrophotovoltaics at Fraunhofer ISE, who is now focusing on transferring the technology to other climatic zones as well as other applications.

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  • The reseachers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will be presenting their newest developments on June 20-22, 2018 at the Intersolar Europe 2018 (Hall A1.540) in Munich. The highlights include novel resource-saving printing technologies for solar wafer metallization, new examples of building-integrated photovoltaics, highly compact and efficient inverters and a broad spectrum of quality assurance instrumentation and testing services as well as an innovative battery storage system for stationary applications.

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