Storage Highlights 2020 – Gigawatt Winner: Fraunhofer ISE


Built in partnership with Messe Düsseldorf and Energy Storage Europe, pv magazine’s annual Energy Storage Highlights 2020 special edition is hot off the press.  Celebrate this year’s top five awardees at our Insight panel session with discussion among our Gigawatt winners and panel of expert jurors.

Introducing our fourth Gigawatt Winner…

Fraunhofer ISE

Silicon carbide for partial load efficiency

One of the challenges with residential PV storage systems is that they need to be charged within a few hours when the sun is intense, and discharged over a longer period of time when the electricity is consumed at partial load. Therefore, battery inverters should have a high conversion efficiency over a broad power range. Fraunhofer ISE has just concluded a project in partnership with Kaco New Energy and STS, developing a 6 kW hybrid inverter comprised of silicon carbide components. The researchers say that by implementing new wide band-gap semiconductors, the inverter maintains high efficiency even at partial loads, while also reaching a high power density. Underlining the crucial role of power electronics and their significance to the development of storage systems, Fraunhofer ISE is one of the five Gigawatt winners of this year’s competition.

A special highlight of the engineered innovation is the battery charger’s DC-DC converter with a three-leg interleaved synchronized topology, that switches the silicon carbide module to make use of its three distinct control input legs.

In serial production, the institute says that the device built from silicon carbide components would not cost more than today’s battery inverters. When compared to particularly poor-performing inverters on the market, savings could amount to €150-250 per year. However, as conventional devices have improved in the past, final potential savings may depend on the choice of comparison.

Jury comments

Xavier Daval:The main benefit of Wide Band Gap power transistors is a strong reduction of switching losses. By providing faster commutation capabilities, this new generation of Power Semiconductors are the components expected to build more efficient DC-DC converters for storage. The Fraunhofer-Kaco partnership is providing a new generation of charge controllers delivering a significant improvement in efficiency, especially at low power level.”

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Nina Munzke: “Very high efficiencies in the partial power range, which is very important for residential storage.”

pv magazine Storage Highlights Ceremony

Now as a Webinar!

You are invited to join us online for the pv magazine Storage Highlights Ceremony on March 11, 10am – 11:30am (CET)!

The Energy Storage Europe Düsseldorf has been postponed indefinitely due to Coronavirus. Consequently, we will not be able to host our Insight event live onsite. However, in the age of digitalization we will host the Storage Highlights Ceremony as a webinar.

The five Gigawatt Winners will pitch their winning applications to the expert jury panel with a subsequent discussion by the independent leading analysts.

Register now and join us! 


Xavier Daval | CEO, kiloWattsol

Xavier Daval is an international solar and storage expert, and the CEO of French solar technical advisory firm kiloWattsol SAS, which he founded in 2007. Daval is an electrical engineer and the former EMEA director of a NYSE-listed manufacturer in the electronics industry. He is also the vice president of French renewable energy association Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables-SER, the chair of its solar commission SER-SOLER, and the director of the Global Solar Council (GSC).

James Frith | Head of Energy Storage, Bloomberg NEF

James Frith spearheads the energy storage team at BloombergNEF. He leads the company’s coverage on energy storage technologies and the lithium battery supply chain to provide insights on technology, markets, policies, and regulation. He leverages his background in battery research to provide key insights into the chemistries, applications, and markets for lithium-ion batteries.

Mark Higgins | COO, Strategen

Mark Higgins is the COO of Strategen, a professional services firm focused on market development for a decarbonized grid. Higgins also serves on the board of the Vehicle-Grid Integration Council, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the role of smart EV charging. His past experience includes serving as the director of utility west at SunEdison, vice president of finance for Hu Honua Bioenergy, and Pacific Gas & Electric’s lead for key policy areas, including interconnection and transmission planning.

Julian Jansen | Senior Market Analyst - Solar & Energy Storage, IHS Markit Technology

Julian Jansen is a research manager at IHS Markit Technology, leading the group’s global research on stationary energy storage to provide deep insights on the key value drivers and emerging business models accelerating storage deployment across Europe and North America. Jansen also delivers strategic advice for bespoke projects on a range of new energy technologies.

Florian Mayr | Partner, Apricum

Florian Mayr is a partner at Apricum, where he provides expertise on energy storage, renewables, and e-mobility. Mayr supports companies around the world to advance clean technologies by providing counsel for strategy and transactions in the sector. Prior to joining Apricum, Mayr spent eight years in senior positions at McKinsey & Company and German utility RWE.

Nina Munzke | Teamleader Stationary Energy Storage Systems, Karlsruhe institute of Technology

Nina Munzke has worked at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, serving as the team leader of “Systems Control and Analysis” since 2012. At the KIT Electrotechnical Institute, her focus is on energy storage systems. Munzke has extensive experience in the field of dimensioning and simulation, in addition to developing intelligent system controls for stationary storage systems. She is also an expert in the evaluation of the performance of stationary storage systems.

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