Fraunhofer ISE, Kalyon sign MoU for PV technology research with initial focus on agrivoltaics

The two outfits are hoping to drive forward research on agrivoltaics and other PV technologies. Image: Fraunhofer ISE.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Turkish energy company Kalyon Güneş Teknolojileri Üretim A.Ş. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on agrivoltaic research as well as in other integrated PV technologies and PV storage technologies.

Announced yesterday (11 October), the collaboration between the two companies will include joint research projects as well as contract research and information exchanges to promote technology transfer. 

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Kalyon is planning to invest a minimum of US$9 million in the research programme that will first focus on agrivoltaics but will then expand to include the integration of solar in building envelopes, road canopies, noise barriers, parking lots, electric charging stations and vehicle bodies.

The final area of cooperation will focus on the coupling of PV with battery storage systems that are used for plug-and-play applications, off-grid systems and for increasing the share of solar self-sufficiency in PV systems, Fraunhofer said in a statement.  

“The solar industry and particularly PV module manufacturing are already well established in Turkey, and we are looking forward to being able to advance innovative PV technologies with Kalyon,” said professor Hans-Martin Henning, director of Fraunhofer ISE, which in May laid claim to a new solar cell efficiency record of 47.6% via the use of a four-junction cell.

“Both the integration of photovoltaics into areas already being used for other purposes, along with an improved linkage between electricity storage and solar power generation, are becoming increasingly important as PV expansion progresses.”

At the end of last month, a research consortium that included Fraunhofer claimed to have devised a proof of concept for a production line with a throughput of 15,000 to 20,000 wafers per hour, which is double the usual amount.

The doubling of throughput was down to “improvements to several individual process steps”, said the researchers, who will be presenting details of their results at this week’s eighth World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion in Milan, Italy.

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