Photonics for energy efficiency deemed crucial at new Fraunhofer labs

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Fraunhofer ISE has opened a new energy efficient laboratory building in Freiburg, Germany for optical and photonics research.

In the laboratories, which cover an area of 2,400m², scientists work on coatings, microstructures and optical and photonics applications for the next generation of heat and electricity from solar energy.

Researchers at Fraunhofer ISE developed the energy efficient building concept and worked with a team of planners, architects and industry partners. Strategies included the heating and cooling concepts through to the building's photovoltaics.

'In many respects the new laboratory building represents a milestone for us,' said the Institute's director Eicke Weber. 'With this laboratory facility, we are strengthening our cross-disciplinary expertise in the fields of solar thermal and photovoltaics. The building concept meets the highest expectations for energy efficiency and integrates the newest research results into the building.'

About 30 partners were involved in the project, which lasted a period of two and a half years. The costs, amounting to €10.2 million, were covered 50 per cent by the federal government and 50 per cent by the State of Baden-Württemberg.