Fraunhofer Institute für Solar Energy Systems (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.
With a staff of above 1200, Fraunhofer ISE is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe. The work at the Institute ranges from the investigation of scientific and technological fundamentals for 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 and services.
The Fraunhofer ISE is integrated into a network of national and international co-operation. Among others, it is a member of the ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare Energien (FVEE - German Research Association for Renewable Energy) and the European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC) Agency
At present approximately 1200 persons are employed at Fraunhofer ISE. 400 of these hold permanent positions. With more than 120 doctoral students, more than 120 diploma students, numerous practical trainees and part-time student employees, the Institute contributes to educating and training highly qualified people for future work in the research and development of solar energy technology.
The research work at the Institute is carried out in offices, laboratories and test fields, which cover an area of over 27 000m².
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 for the following business areas:
- Energy-Efficient Buildings
- Applied Optics and Functional Surfaces
- Silicon Photovoltaics
- Alternative Photovoltaic Technology
- Renewable Power Generation
- Hydrogen Technology
- Solar Thermal Technology
The Fraunhofer ISE Laboratory and Service Center Gelsenkirchen and the Technology Center for semiconductor Materials THM, Freiberg – the latter in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Intergrated Systems and Device Technology IISB – are dedicated
to solar cell and semiconductor development respectively.
The Institute is integrated into a network of national and international co-operation. In particular, it can draw on the competence of other Fraunhofer Institutes and thus can prepare complete, interdisciplinary solutions. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems is a member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the leading organisation for applied research in Germany with about 18 000 employees in 80 research establishments.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany was founded in 1981 by Prof. Adolf Goetzberger. It was the first solar research institute in Europe that operated independent of a university. 1993, Prof. Joachim Luther became the Director of the Institute which has developed into a leading international research institute in the field of solar energy. On July 1, 2006 Joachim Luther handed over the direction of the Institute to Prof. Eicke R. Weber.
2001 a new Institute Building
At present the Institute has a steadily increasing staff of over 500 employees, for whom the workplaces were distributed throughout several rented buildings. In 2001 Europe´s largest solar energy research institute has moved into its own building. The energy concept of this new building has been constructed with the research and development themes of the user in mind. The group Solar Buildings at Fraunhofer ISE, which offers clients and planners innovative engineering services for building with the sun, has worked closely with the architects and building services consultants on this project.