Power from the sun

Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE


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
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.

Research Factory PV-TEC Celebrates Ten Years of Service to German PV Industry – Opening of lab addition “PV-TEC Select” demonstrates confidence in the future
Apr 14, 2016

Press Release 08/16, April, 14, 2016

When the Fraunhofer ISE Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center PV-TEC was inaugurated in Spring 2006, it was the first research-based pilot line for crystalline silicon solar cells. Back then with support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Fraunhofer ISE PV-TEC was able to build a new, unique service center for the photovoltaic (PV) industry. With laboratory facilities stretching over 1200 m², PV-TEC continues to offer research, development and services on an industrial production level. Through its pioneering work in the field, the technology transfer to PV industry began to grow at an accelerated rate. Germany soon became a leading nation in the area of solar cell production and production technology, the latter still holding today. PV-TEC’s ten year jubilee was celebrated in Freiburg on April 13, 2016 in the presence of high-level representatives of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry for the Environment as well as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as well as more than 50 leading representatives of PV industry. The location of the event – and also a reason for celebration – is the new laboratory addition “PV-TEC Select.” With its new infrastructure in place, the lab’s aim is to realize solar cell efficiencies of 25 percent. PV-TEC Select will be officially inaugurated at the jubilee.

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.

Dr. Werner Platzer Appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Freiburg

Dr. Werner Platzer, division director of Solar Thermal and Optics at Fraunhofer ISE, was newly appointed honorary professor in the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg. The certificate of appointment was presented to him on March 1, 2016 by Prof. Dr. Gunther Neuhaus, the prorector of research at the university. Platzer received the honorary professorship based on his many years as lecturer and his support in developing and forming the Master Program of Renewable Energy Management in the department.

Events / Trade Fairs
SHC Task 54 - Workshop on Price Reduction of Solar Thermal Sytems
Brussels, Belgium
May 25, 2016

This 1.5 hour workshop is part of the upcoming ESTTP Workshop in Brussels. Industry representatives from the solar thermal sector are invited for an active discussion on the obstacles for price reduction and ways to overcome them.  Partners interested in these topics or in joining SHC Task 54 are welcome!

Register here


Fraunhofer ISE - Annual Report 2015/16

Study: What will the Energy Transformation Cost?