Press Releases 2021

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  • Press Release #26 / 2021

    Electric Truck with Fully Integrated Photovoltaics Picks Up Speed

    October 25, 2021

    A heavy-duty truck weighing 18 tons and equipped with a 3.5 kilowatt-peak photovoltaic system is now driving on Germany's roads. The commercial vehicle with integrated high-voltage photovoltaic system and feed-in to the 800-volt traction battery has been approved for road traffic. The solar power produced directly on the vehicle can cover 5 to 10 percent of the truck's energy needs. In the Lade-PV project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, with its project partners from industry and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, has developed solar PV modules and power electronics for integration in commercial vehicles. This truck, the first equipped with these PV modules, has now passed the technical inspection, marking a milestone towards more climate-friendly road freight transport.

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  • M10 Industries AG and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and have developed a matrix shingle concept for connecting silicon solar cells and a new stringer for manufacturing novel matrix shingle modules. The stringer, which arranges the shingle solar cells offset from each other similar to bricks in a masonry wall, was built within the Shirkan project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). This shingle arrangement results in increased efficiency, a homogeneous appearance and improved shading tolerance of photovoltaic modules. The first prototypes for matrix shingle modules will be shown by Fraunhofer ISE at Intersolar Europe Restart 2021 (October 6-8, Messe München, Booth A6.370).

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  • Cost efficient climate change mitigation requires installing a total of 20-80 TWp photovoltaics until 2050 and 80-170 TWp until 2100, at least a hundred times more than the 707 GWp standing at the end of 2020. A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has now analyzed whether the projected growth is feasible from a resource point of view- and if so, under which conditions, in the paper »Technological learning for resource efficient terawatt scale photovoltaics« (Energy & Environmental Science, September 2021). The currently high rate of innovation must be upheld to avoid resource constraints, they find.

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  • In a new study, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have calculated that silicon photovoltaic modules manufactured in the European Union produce 40 percent less CO2 than modules manufactured in China. Using a life cycle analysis (LCA), the research team compared the CO2 footprint of monocrystalline solar modules manufactured in Germany, Europe and China. In the process, they also found that glass-glass modules enable an additional emissions reduction ranging between 7.5 to 12.5 percent compared to PV modules with backsheet films, regardless of their production location.

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  • Press Release #21 / 2021

    First agrivoltaic system for carbon-neutral orcharding being tested

    September 14, 2021

    As part of the project “APV-Obstbau”, BayWa r.e. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have cooperated with other research partners to set up an agrivoltaic system for research purposes at the “Bio-Obsthof Nachtwey” in Gelsdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is the first system of its kind in Germany. The total test area for the project covers around 9100 square meters. The agrivoltaic system, which has a capacity of 258 kWp, has been installed on approximately one third of the plot.

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  • Press Release #18 / 2021

    Project PV-Live: New solar irradiance data set published

    August 04, 2021

    Reliable projections and forecasts of photovoltaic generation are becoming more and more important to maintain a stable power grid and for solar energy trading on the electric power exchange. To improve such projections, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the transmission system operator TransnetBW have set up a network of measurement stations which record the current irradiance conditions in the control area on a minute-by-minute basis. These data are also extremely valuable for research in solar energy meteorology. The project partners have released the first quality-controlled data sets, thus making measurement data since September 2020, now publicly available.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, supported by PSE Projects GmbH, has been publishing the PV Report on a regular basis for the past decade. The report contains a compilation of the most important facts on photovoltaics (PV) in Germany, the European Union and worldwide, documenting, in particular, the development of the photovoltaic market, solar cell and module efficiency as well as the prices over the last decades. The latest edition is freely available on the Fraunhofer ISE website as of today.

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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 2021 from the Energy Charts data platform. At 47.9 percent, the share of renewables in the electricity mix coming out of the socket was much lower than in the first half of 2020 (55.8 percent). In the first six months of 2021, solar and wind fed a total of 87.3 terawatt hours (TWh) into the public grid, compared with 102.9 TWh within the same time period in 2020. This was mostly due to the large drop in wind power, which declined by 20.5 percent compared to 2020. In contrast, the share of net electricity generation in the public power supply from brown coal (+37.6 percent), hard coal (+38.9 percent), gas (+18.6 percent), hydropower (+15.9) and nuclear power (+7.1 percent) all increased.

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  • Example of a possible system design for floating PV.
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Floating photovoltaic power plants can contribute to the expansion of renewable energy without taking up land. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, RWE Renewables and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) are working together to further develop this innovative technology with other partners. In the joint research project PV2Float, the partners are to test several floating PV systems with different structure designs under real conditions over a three-year period. An Evaluation for a suitable open pit lake for the implementation is currently ongoing.

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  • © Fraunhofer ENIQ

    Fraunhofer Energy Research has a new location: the showroom "ENIQ - Energy Intelligence by Fraunhofer" located on the EUREF campus in Berlin. The facility functions as an interactive platform to serve the transfer of knowledge. Stake-holders from business, politics and society can discuss relevant topics with sci-entists, initiate projects and create innovations. Event formats for different tar-get groups are complemented by an exhibition area where innovative demon-strators and exhibits from Fraunhofer Energy Research are on display.

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