Fraunhofer ISE Lays Cornerstone for New Solar Research Facility

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Fraunhofer ISE) has served as one of the world’s leading research institutes for solar energy for more than 30 years. In photovoltaics, the institute has achieved world-record efficiency levels for different solar cell technologies, and it makes a significant contribution to Germany’s research and development in the field.

The Institute has chosen to construct a new building with a clean room equipment adapted to meet the new technological challenges of continuing photovoltaic research. The Institute intends to use the new facility to help German photovoltaic research further enhance the efficiency and reduce the costs for solar cells. Additionally, the Institute hopes to address the sustainability of production processes.

Fraunhofer ISE -- Center for Solar Research -- New Lab-- artist rendering

Fraunhofer ISE — Center for High-Efficiency Solar Cells — new lab building– artist rendering

Fraunhofer ISE has achieved several record levels of solar cell efficiency including achieving 31.3 percent efficiency for a tandem solar cell consisting of multiple III-V solar cells on a silicon cell, and the international photovoltaic efficiency record of 46.1 percent with III-V concentrator multiple cells. Other records include the world record of 22.3 percent for multicrystalline silicon solar cells and an efficiency of 25.8 percent for a monocrystalline cell based on TOPCon technology.

The new building called the “Center for High-Efficiency Solar Cells”, will replace the aging clean room for solar cell development will also serve as the location for the development of future solar cell generations.

“We are very pleased that this new cleanroom facility will enable us to adapt the infrastructure for photovoltaic research to the new technological challenges,” said Institute researcher Dr. Andreas Bett and added, “We would like to thank the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF as well as the state of Baden-Württemberg for financing the new laboratory building.

The Federal Government and the State are providing a total of 32.6 million euros for the project. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2019.