Power from the sun

Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

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The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE conducts research on the technology needed to supply energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialised, threshold and developing countries. To this purpose, the Institute develops systems, components, materials and processes in the areas of the thermal use of solar energy, solar building, solar cells, electrical power supplies, chemical energy conversion, energy storage and the rational use of energy.

The Institute's work ranges from fundamental scientific research relating to solar energy applications, through the development of production technology and prototypes, to the construction of demonstration systems. The Institute plans, advises and provides know-how and technical facilities as services.

Current Press Releases
Laser-based Production Process for High Efficiency Solar Cells Wins Award – Ralf Preu and Jan Nekarda Receive 2016 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize
May 10, 2016

Press Release 10/16, May 10, 2016

Photovoltaics and wind energy are major building blocks in the energy transformation, which is one of the biggest challenges society faces in the coming decades. “The total amount of electric energy from photovoltaic sources is more than 250 terawatt hours, approximately equivalent to the amount produced by 30 nuclear power plants. In order to help meet international climate objectives, the amount of photovoltaic power newly installed each year will have to increase by ten times over the next 15 years. On the whole, solar technology will have to become more efficient and cost-effective in order to meet the demands of this market,” explains Dr.-Ing. Ralf Preu, Division Director of PV Production Technology and Quality Assurance, at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg. The researcher and his colleague Dr. Jan Nekarda have already made an important contribution to climate protection with the development of Laser-Fired Contact (LFC) technology, enabling the manufacture of more efficient solar cells at lower cost. At the annual meeting of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on May 10, 2016 in Essen, the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize was presented to Ralf Preu and Jan Nekarda for their innovative development. “We are delighted to receive this distinguished prize, which is not only a recognition of our work but also shows the innovative strength of the German and European photovoltaic industry,” says Ralf Preu obviously pleased.

Integration of Renewable Energy in Europe and Africa – Study on Supergrid Presents Scenarios and Technologies for a Renewable-Based Energy Supply
Apr 18, 2016

Press Release 09/16, April, 18, 2016

The percentage of renewables in the electricity supply is steadily growing worldwide. Using a combination of different renewable sources, an ecological and economical electricity mix can be realized across national borders. Decisive here is the reliable supply, storage and distribution of renewable electricity. In the Supergrid project, several Fraunhofer institutes joined together to research just how such an electricity and transmission grid between North Africa and Europe could function. They developed scenarios for a renewable energy system in the MENA region and compared potential technologies. Detailed solutions were proposed and regulatory mechanisms were evaluated. The results of the Supergrid study are now available in a final report.

Fraunhofer ISE Adds Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle to its Research Fleet of Fuel Cell Cars

News 19/16, May 2, 2016

The transformation of the energy system relies on a large share of fluctuating renewable energy sources and thus requires hydrogen for long-term storage and as a fuel in the mobility sector. In 2012, Fraunhofer ISE erected a solar hydrogen filling station at the institute to demonstrate future, zero-emission mobility based on green hydrogen produced on location using solar energy and water. Over the past four years, the Fraunhofer scientists have been using three Daimler B-Class F-Cell Vehicles to test fuel cell mobility. Now with the newly acquired Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell passenger car, Fraunhofer ISE expands its zero-emission research fleet.

Concentrator Photovoltaics Targeted for Highly Efficient Power Production in India – Fraunhofer ISE Starts Research Cooperation with Indian Partners

News 18/16, April 25, 2016

Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) is a cost-effective method for generating electricity in regions that have a large fraction of direct solar radiation. With the help of lenses, sunlight is concentrated onto miniature, highly efficient multi-junction solar cells with efficiencies above 40 %. CPV modules are mounted on trackers that continually follow the sun’s path in order to use direct sunlight. Now, Fraunhofer ISE, together with NETRA, the research facility of the largest Indian public utility NTPC, are working together on a cooperative research project to determine the specific requirements needed for the use of CPV in India. The Indo-German research project “CPVIndia” is funded by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau KFW with resources from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety BMUB, as part of the international climate protection initiative.

German-Greek Cooperative Project “WasserMod“ Ends with Success

News 16/16, April 19, 2016

In the “WasserMod” project, research teams from Germany and Greece performed experimental investigations and computer simulations in order to learn more about water diffusion in microporous adsorbents. Three project partners worked together in the research team: the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the University of Leipzig and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). The project ended in 2015 after a duration of two years; a follow-up project is planned. The project results shall now be transferred to the application phase and used for optimizing heating and cooling systems in cooperation with industry.

Events / Trade Fairs
43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Portland, USA
Jun 05, 2016 - Jun 10, 2016

This year’s conference promises to uphold PVSC's tradition as a premier international conference on the science and technology of photovoltaics by providing an interactive forum for researchers, students, scientists, engineers, technology and business leaders from industry, academia, government in an environment conducive to strengthening collaborations and sharing knowledge across the field of photovoltaics. This year the conference is joining forces with the American Solar Energy Society to provide an even more varied and diverse meeting with a strong focus on systems and applications in addition to our traditional areas.

32. European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2016)
Munich, Germany
Jun 20, 2016 - Jun 24, 2016

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic research, technologies and applications, and at the same time a top international PV Industry Exhibitions. It gathers the global PV community to conduct business, to network and to present and discuss the latest developments and innovations in Photovoltaics. It is the world renowned science-to-science, business-to-business and science-to-industry platform with a full and only focus on the global PV Solar sector.

Intersolar Europe
Munich, Germany
Jun 22, 2016 - Jun 24, 2016

Intersolar Europe takes place annually at Messe München. It is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. In 2015, more than 1,000 international exhibitors and around 38,000 trade visitors attended Intersolar Europe. The exhibition focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage systems and renewable heating. Since its founding, it has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry. The accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference consolidates the topics of the exhibition. In 2015, more than 1,500 attendees gained information about current industry topics and the background of technological, market and political developments.

In 2016, the ees Europe, Europe’s largest exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, takes place again in conjunction with Intersolar Europe. The ees Europe is covering the entire value chain of innovative battery and energy storage technologies.


Fraunhofer ISE - Annual Report 2015/16

Study: What will the Energy Transformation Cost?