Press Release

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  • Experimental testing should remain economically viable for manufacturers despite the increasing lengths of rotor blades - either in the form of full-scale blade testing or the testing of segment or blade components. Fraunhofer IWES received funding to the tune of around € 12 million for the `Future Concept Operational Stability Rotor Blades Phase II` project. The scientists develop and test out new methods for the evaluation of modern rotor blades measuring up to 115 meters in length. To this end, a new test bench is set to be constructed in Bremerhaven as of the end of 2019. It encompasses a very large test bed for full-scale blade testing and benches for segment and component tests. The predecessor project investigated the viability of new test procedures and tested them out in small-scale test runs; the second phase will now see them employed on a larger scale.

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  • "Future is our product" is the motto of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. The institute produces innovations and solutions for industrial applications and bridges the gap between science and practice. This is to be celebrated in 2019: 60 years ago – on July 1st, 1959 – the institute in Stuttgart began its work.

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  • Prof. Eicke R. Weber receives the Visionary Influencers Lifetime Achievement Award
    © Solar Business Club

    Freiburg/Abu Dhabi (January 16, 2019) Prof. Eicke R. Weber, former director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Vice President of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) has been awarded the SOLAR FUTURE.TODAY Visionary Influencer Award 2019 in the category Yearly Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to Prof. Weber during the 3rd Black-Tie Gala Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the 3rd SOLAR FUTURE.TODAY World Annual Forum in Abu Dhabi last night, on January 15, 2019.

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  • Pilot process to apply an electrically conductive adhesive to shingled cells
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg has developed a special adhesive process to interconnect silicon solar cells for the industrial production of shingle modules. The market demand for shingle modules is rising rapidly due to their high efficiency and pleasing aesthetics. The cell stringer at Fraunhofer ISE is unique in Germany. It offers a wide range of possibilities for the prototype production of this highly efficient module.

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  • Solar cell made of silicon and III-V semiconductor materials
    © Fraunhofer ISE/ A. Wekkeli

    Silicon solar cells dominate the photovoltaic market today but the technology approaches the theoretical maximum efficiency that can be achieved with silicon as the only absorber material. Tandem solar cells, on the other hand, combine several absorber materials, enabling a better energetic use of the solar irradiance spectrum. Due to their higher efficiency potential, tandem solar cells have a promising future. After intensive research, scientists at Fraunhofer ISE in cooperation with partners have achieved a new efficiency record of 22.3 percent for a multi-junction solar cell made of silicon and III-V semiconductor materials. The outstanding achievement is that the III-V layers were directly grown on the silicon.

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  • Gaining a better understanding of power converter failure is vital in order to develop more effective protective measures and thus improve the profitability of turbine operation. For this purpose, field data from various sites and turbine types are being analyzed, damage models derived, and experimental tests performed on components.

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  • Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have just released their annual assessment on the net electricity generation for Germany’s public power supply in 2018. Based on the production figures, solar energy showed the largest growth at 16 percent, ahead of wind energy with 5.4 percent growth. At the same time, the net electricity generation from coal, gas and hydropower decreased. In 2018, renewable sources accounted for over 40 percent of the public net electricity generation, i.e. the electricity mix fed into the public power grid.

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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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  • Three innovative 20 meter long rotor blades that were developed within the context of the SmartBlades2 project will be assessed under natural weather and wind conditions in Boulder, Colorado (USA), over the next four months. For this purpose, the rotor blades, which were designed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) and built by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), have been successfully installed in the United States at the Department of Energy's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

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  • “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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