Fraunhofer ISE was founded under the leadership of Professor Adolf Goetzberger, at the time Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF.
1987 sees the first solar-powered restaurant on a hiking trail. A fuel cell was later added to the photovoltaic hybrid power system, transforming it into a groundbreaking off-grid energy supply system.
The first clean-room laboratory for the production of high efficiency solar cells was commissioned. Five years later, Fraunhofer ISE set the conversion efficiency record for Cz-silicon solar cells at 21.3%.
The first off-grid, entirely solar-powered residential building was constructed. Photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies were supplemented by a fuel cell system. This kick-started a number of developments for energy efficient buildings.
Anti-reflective solar glass coating stolen from nature: Tiny nanostructures created through holographic exposure and inspired by the structure of a moth’s eye are invisible to the human eye.
Fraunhofer ISE’s 20-year anniversary coincides with the inauguration of its first dedicated building. At the time, the instituted employed 300 members of staff.
Prof. Joachim Luther (right), successor to Prof. Goetzberger (center), hands over the reins to Prof. Eicke R. Weber (left) after 13 years.
Fraunhofer ISE’s 99%-efficient photovoltaic inverter breaks the previous world record which the institute had already held for over ten years.
A real milestone, Fraunhofer ISE’s hydrogen filling station was opened as a research platform as well as to the public. Hydrogen is instrumental in the energy transition.
A multi-junction photovoltaic cell comprising III-V semiconductor compounds was developed which converted 46% of incoming sunlight into electrical energy when subjected to concentrated light.
With a conversion efficiency of 22.3%, Fraunhofer ISE’s multicrystalline silicon solar cells broke the world record.
The introduction of tandem solar cells boosted conversion efficiency. The world conversion efficiency record for a monolithic multi-junction solar cell made of silicon and III-V semiconductor materials stands at 34.1%.
Prof. Andreas Bett and Prof. Hans-Martin Henning have headed Europe’s largest solar research institute, now counting over 1200 employees, for four years.