Press Release

  • TOPCoRE Solarzelle
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    A team of researchers led by Dr. Armin Richter of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE achieved a record conversion efficiency of 26.0 percent for both-sides contacted silicon solar cells. In the recently published Nature Energy article "Design Rules for High-Efficiency Both-Sides-Contacted Silicon Solar Cell with Balanced Charge Carrier Transport and Recombination Losses" Download [], Richter explains the structure of the record-breaking cell and presents fundamental design-related aspects leading to even higher efficiencies. The design of the back-side cell surface as a full-area charge-carrier collecting passivating contact was key to the success.

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  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT / From basic research to industrial application / 2021

    Why marketable concepts of catalysts, electrodes and cells are still in short supply – and what needs to change

    April 14, 2021

    © Fraunhofer UMSICHT/Kevinjeorjios Pellumbi

    They can be used to produce green hydrogen and convert carbon dioxide into feedstocks for the chemical industry. Electrolysis technologies have increasingly come into focus in the context of climate protection, energy and raw material change. The result: a plethora of catalyst candidates, almost none of which, however, has yet reached the stage of applicability. Marketable concepts for electrodes and cells are also still in short supply. Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institutes UMSICHT, ISE and ICT, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Ruhr University Bochum, the Center for Fuel Cell Technology (ZBT) and the Danish company IRD Fuel Cells have investigated the reasons for this and what needs to change for electrolysis to become an industrial application. They have published their findings under the title "Crossing the Valley of Death: From Fundamental to Applied Research in Electrolysis" in the "Journal of American Chemistry Au".

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  • Fraunhofer IWES / 2021

    How does climate change impact wind farm yields?

    April 12, 2021

    Fraunhofer IWES and GERICS are launching a new research project to investigate climatic changes in wind and their influence on wind energy site assessment. When planning a wind farm, yield assessments are vital when it comes to estimating the wind conditions at the planned site and calculating the expected energy yields while taking various factors into account. The basis of this is normally formed by historical wind data as well as measurement data that are extrapolated into the future during the planning process. However, advancing climate change means that historical data might be less applicable for the future. Within the scope of the KliWiSt project, Fraunhofer IWES, together with the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), will be investigating the influence of climate change on wind energy site assessment in the coming decades. In addition, specific recommendations for action for the future determination of yield assessments for wind farms are also to be derived from this. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is financing this research project to the tune of € 1.16 million through to 2024.

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  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT / Virtual exchange on electrochemical reactor design / 2021

    International and interdisciplinary: The second "E3C – Electrochemical Cell Concepts Colloquium" will take place on May 6, 2021

    March 23, 2021

    E3C Keyvisual

    "Functional components", "Characterization", "Manufacturing", "Cell and stack design": These are the main topics of this year's "E3C – Electrochemical Cell Concepts Colloquium". On May 6, 2021, researchers will discuss similarities and potential combinations of electrochemical reactor designs – interdisciplinary, international and virtual. The event is organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT.

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  • Fraunhofer ISE / 2021

    Dual Yield on Arable Land: Guideline for Agrivoltaics Published

    February 22, 2021

    Agrivoltaics enables the dual use of arable land: Photovoltaic modules, which are mounted on a structure, generate renewable electricity and underneath agricultural crops grow. The approach increases land efficiency and could mitigate conflicts over the use of arable land in the future. A new guideline provides up-to-date information on the technology, its potential and the current state of development. The aim is to provide farmers, municipalities and companies with practical advice on how to use agrivoltaics. The guidelines, published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, also gives suggestions on how to adapt the existing legal framework to include this new technology. Fraunhofer ISE was the first to comprehensively test the agrivoltaics technology in Germany. The publication comprises 56 pages, is free of charge and is now available online for download in German and English.

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  • Recyclingprozesse zur Kreislaufführung kritischer Batterierohstoffe
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Powerful battery storage systems are an essential component for the success of the energy transition. But how can these be produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way in the future? How can digital processes provide support? And how can old batteries be efficiently recycled and returned to a circular economy? Fraunhofer IKTS is addressing these questions at its new institute site in Freiberg, which was established with the support of Saxony's State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism.

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  • As the energy transition progresses, the expansion of the electricity grids is becoming increasingly important. More and more renewable generation plants as well as electrical storage systems are being connected to the grid. This gives power electronics a decisive role, because it is essential to connect these systems to the grid. However, in addition to the mere feed-in or feed-back of electrical energy, power electronics must also perform other grid-supporting tasks. In the "SiC-MSBat" project, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, together with partners, have now developed and successfully commissioned a highly compact inverter for direct feeding into the medium-voltage grid.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES has completed a successful series of accelerated tests on rotor blade bearings at the bearing test bench in Hamburg. Within the scope of research and industry projects, bearings were subjected to dynamic endurance tests to increase their reliability and gain insights into the causes of wear. The first bearing tests were thoroughly successful with both the test method developed by Fraunhofer IWES and the test bench itself proving their worth. Accelerated test procedures allow the institute to acquire vital insights into damage mechanisms that can reduce future development costs and yield losses.

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  • Fraunhofer IWES is conducting a boulder detection and geohazard survey of 50 wind turbine locations and the associated OSS within the Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm on behalf of Iberdrola S.A. The three-week measurement campaign in the Baltic Sea took place back in October and November 2020, using the novel proprietary Manta Ray G1 system developed by Fraunhofer IWES for data recording. The acquired data are currently being interpreted at the institute with the goal of completing the project by the end of April 2021.

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