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Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

CSE Managing Director Nolan Browne is interviewed by a journalist.

Fraunhofer CSE in the Media

A Zondits Interview: Fraunhofer CSE, October 7th, 2016

Zondits recently had the opportunity to speak with Matt Kromer, the Director of the Grid Integration Group and Co-Principal Investigator of the SHINES and SunDial project at Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE. Fraunhofer CSE is an applied research and development laboratory dedicated to building tomorrow’s energy future today. Their staff’s expertise in solar photovoltaics, energy-efficient smart buildings, and grid technologies provides a platform for deeply integrating distributed energy resources through collaborative research and development with private companies, government entities, and academic institutions.


How Tesla’s batteries can change the solar power game, August 10th, 2016

THE dream of a solar-powered society has tantalised us for decades. But the costs involved in piping the sun’s energy into the electricity grid remain prohibitively high. Now, solar power could get the efficiency boost it needs – thanks to a corporate takeover.


Visualizing Value: Game-Changing Solar Technologies for Homeowners, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, July 29, 2016

Flying cars, house-cleaning robots, and 3D-printed food may have seemed like part of the distant future when “The Jetsons” first aired, but less than a century later we have Roombas, driverless cars, and 3D printers making edible prints. Some clean energy analysts thought that solar would be a part of our distant future, but now that it’s powering more than 1 million solar installations and employing 209,000 people and counting, it’s clear that solar is here and now.


5 SunRISE TechBridge Challenge Winners Announced, June 23, 2016

Following the entries of 56 different teams and companies to the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge, the judges have chosen 5 early-stage companies as winners after a thorough, multi-stage review process. For those unfamiliar with the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge, it’s a competition that was created to identify innovations in solar materials and technologies that could be used to lower the levelized cost of energy for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.


Fraunhofer CSE unveils plug-and-play PV systems, June 21, 2016

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has demonstrated two installations of its Plug and Play solar photovoltaic (PV) systems as part of its “2016 Demo Day” in Boston. The organization’s Plug and Play PV project has a goal to make the installation of PV systems as easy and safe as the installation of a home appliance.


Fraunhofer CSE Showcases 2 Commercial-Ready Plug & Play Solar PV Systems At 2016 Demo Day, June 21, 2016

Two new, commercial-ready plug-and-play home solar photovoltaic systems were recently demonstrated by the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems at the organization’s “2016 Demo Day,” according to a new press release. The new plug-and-play solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are, according to Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, simple to install, easy to inspect for code compliance, and compatible with electronic Permitting, Inspection and Interconnection (ePI&I) processes.

Toronto’s QD Solar sole Canadian among five winners of solar technology challenge, June 17, 2016

Five North American solar start-up companies have been selected to receive further support in developing their technology and moving them closer to market under the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge, which had 56 team entries.


Fraunhofer CSE demos ‘plug and play’ PV, June 16, 2016

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) has demonstrated two plug and play solar systems at its 2016 Demo Day, the next stop in the technology's route to commercialisation. The project is funded by the US department of energy’s Sunshot Initiative that is looking to reduce the installed cost of residential solar to US$1.50/W by 2020. As part of the demo, a string inverter based system was installed in under 75 minutes. A micro inverter install was also demonstrated. Further pilots systems will be rolled out in various parts of the US through 2017. The project partners include National Grid, SunPower and lightweight module manufacturer Lumeta.


Home Automation, IoT Could Cut Energy Consumption 10 Percent, says CTA Study, May 19, 2016

Our increasing use of home automation technology through the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential for substantial energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, according to a new study released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM. The study The Energy Savings Potential of Home Automation Technology finds widespread adoption of home automation products such as temperature, circuit and lighting control, if used for energy savings purposes, could collectively avoid up to 100 million tons of CO2 emissions and reduce total residential primary energy consumption by as much as 10 percent. (...) The study was conducted by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE and commissioned by CTA.


EERE Successes: Highlighting the Positive Impacts of EERE, April 29, 2015

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) ranks the five most popular EERE Successes articles this year. A U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot Initiative funded project, the Fraunhofer CSE Plug & Play PV Systems aims to reduce the price of residential solar to $1.50/Watt installed by 2020 by simplifiying the purchase, installation and commissioning of a residential PV system.


It's More Like Telecutting, April 23, 2015

Telecommuting reduced U.S. energy consumption in 2013 by “as much as three power plants,” according to a report coming out today from the Consumer Electronics Association. Those savings cut gasoline usage by half a percent, according to the study which referenced a 2009 highway transportation survey to extrapolate certain 2013 figures. Similarly, Kindle and other e-books are believed to have displaced 393 million print books in 2013, diverting about two million metric tons of carbon dioxide (But does that account for the added power plant emissions from increased e-reader use?). The study was conducted by Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems and commissioned by CEA.


CEA: Telecommuting, e-Commerce Cut U.S. Energy Usage and GHG Emissions, April 23, 2015

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) commissioned researchers at the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE to assess the energy and greenhouse gas emissions impacts of telecommuting and e-commerce. In the newly published study, Fraunhofer CSE‘s researchers took into account the energy and greenhouse gas emissions impacts of all phases of a given product or process, including the energy impact of producing materials as well as distributing the final product.


Plug and Play: Purchase, Install, and Connect Residential Solar Power in Hours

Energy.Gov, March 16, 2015

Consumers may soon have the option of purchasing a do-it-yourself rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system at their local home improvement store that can be installed and connected to the grid in less than a day. Thanks to SunShot Initiative awardee Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE), a novel residential Plug and Play PV system may soon be commercially available.


Fraunhofer CSE Completes First Installation And Commissioning Of Their Plug And Play Solar PV Systems

PR Newswire, November 20, 2014

BOSTON, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) successfully completed the first public installation and interconnection of its Plug and Play PV Systems, a novel residential rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system, at its Plug and Play Demo Day. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot initiative, the Plug and Play System is a holistic approach to residential PV that will dramatically help reduce the total installed costs of solar electricity by 2020, from $4.00/Watt installed to $1.50/Watt. Incorporating innovative technologies with a PV system architecture that simplifies interconnection, permitting and inspection, Fraunhofer CSE developed a system design that addresses all aspects of the solar purchasing and installation process.


Things are Looking up for Elevators

TreeHugger, October 17, 2014

Jane Jacobs wrote that new ideas need old buildings; perhaps that's why the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems is housed in a top-to-bottom renovation of a 101 year old warehouse building in Boston's Fort Point Channel district, a really interesting collection of old warehouse buildings being rehabbed into an innovation center. I recently visited the building as a guest of ThyssenKrupp, which donated the elevator. And a very interesting elevator it is.

Why Is Power Consumption For Gadgets Dropping At Home

Forbes, July 29th, 2014

A new report from the Consumer Electronics Association and Fraunhofer USA asserts that the power consumed by home electronics declined from 12% between 2013 and 2010 in the U.S. It’s a positive result, especially when you add in that the number of devices climbed from 2.9 billion to 3.8 billion over that same period.

But what’s really interesting about the report is why power consumption is declining.


Why Household Gadgets Are Using Less Power

MIT Technology Review, July 28th, 2014

Electronic gadgets in U.S. homes are estimated to have used 12 percent less energy in 2013 than they did 2010, even though there were nearly a billion more devices. The decline is due in large part to a significant decrease in electricity used by televisions and computers, according to a new report, which analyzed 46 types of consumer devices commonly used in homes.

The report is the third in a series commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association and carried out by Fraunhofer USA, a research organization. The first covered 2006 and the second one focused on 2010.


Plug and Play Solar: A Framework to Dramatically Decrease Solar Soft Costs

PV Solar Report, July 15th, 2014

Solar costs continue to decline, but little progress has been made to reduce soft costs. Dr. Christian Hoepfner discusses his research to simplify solar installations at this year’s Intersolar North America.


In-home Consumer Electronics Multiply but Electricity Usage per Home Falls, Finds New CEA Study

Home Toys, June 23rd, 2014

Despite their significantly higher market penetration in U.S. homes, consumer electronics (CE) now account for a lower percentage of electricity usage per household than they did three years ago, according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The study was produced by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems to quantify the electricity consumption of CE products in U.S. households in 2013. Devices covered in depth in the study include televisions, game consoles, set-top boxes (cable, satellite, telco and stand-alone), computers and peripherals, computer speakers, monitors, home audio, smart phones, tablets and networking equipment.


Fraunhofer's Living Lab Goes Live

Clean Energy Council, June 20th, 2014

On Wednesday June 11, hundreds of clean energy businesses and stakeholders gathered in Boston’s Innovation District at what was once a deteriorating 100-year-old historic building scheduled for demolition to celebrate the long-awaited Grand Opening of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy‘s (CSE) Living Laboratory. For more than two years CSE, a non-profit applied research and development laboratory with the mission to foster economic development through the commercialization of clean energy technologies that benefit society, has been transforming the building into a laboratory and test-bed for innovative products sure to advance the commercialization of building energy and solar technologies.


Plug-and-Play Solar Systems: Automating the Permitting, Inspection and Interconnection Processes

Renewable Energy World, June 19th, 2014

In December 2012, the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) was awarded US $11.7 million over a three-year period to develop plug-and-play solar systems through the DOE SunShot initiative. The Center has partnered with a multidisciplinary team of equipment manufacturers, utilities, local governments, universities, and research institutions to develop standards for plug-and-play residential rooftop solar systems, which are “as easy as buying and installing a washer/dryer combo,” said Christian Hoepfner, Director at the Fraunhofer Center and Principal Investigator for the Plug and Play PV project.


ThyssenKrupp Elevator Donates Energy Saving Elevator to "Living Laboratory"

Power Engineering International, June 19th, 2014

ThyssenKrupp Elevator's vice president of sustainability, Brad Nemeth, joined representatives from the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) to celebrate the opening of the center's Living Laboratory in Boston's Innovation District. The new facility, which features ThyssenKrupp's elevators, is an innovative research center that showcases leading solar and energy efficiency technologies.


Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems Opens in South Boston

Banker & Tradesman, June 12th, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick and other state representatives gathered yesterday to celebrate the opening of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) in South Boston.

Fraunhofer CSE is part of an international research network spearheaded by Germany's Fraunhofer Society, Europe's largest contract research and development organization. The new facility, located in Boston's Innovation District at 5 Channel Center St., has 42 employees and includes a living laboratory to support companies and clean energy technologies.


"After $27M rehab, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems officially opens in Fort Point"

Boston Business Journal, June 11th, 2014

The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, a nonprofit applied research and development laboratory that's part of German research organization Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, officially opened this week in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood. Fraunhofer performs applied research for federal and state governments, multinational corporations, as well as small to medium-sized companies.


"Future Of Boston: Changing Weather’s Impact On The Skyline"

CBS Boston, February 12th, 2014

WBZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher speaks with developers about the ways buildings can adapt to climate changes. Fraunhofer CSE’s Building Technology Showcase, a deep energy retrofit of a 100-year-old building in Boston’s Innovation District, is depicted as one example for innovative building design: CSE’s Director Christian Hoepfner points out the Center’s efficient use of energy, its heating and cooling systems and smart infrastructure components.


"Long-Term Module Reliability: Re-Calibrating For Growth"

Global Renewables News, Volume 24, Issue 23

As module quality and reliability continue to be top of mind in the industry, organizations facing the greatest impacts of potential product failures are increasing their due diligence...This push to protect their clientele and investments brings more requests for third-party certifications and reviews...CFV is offering a PV Module Durability Initiative which is an integrated test and research initiative developed by Fraunhofer ISE and Fraunhofer CSE.


"The science of heating and cooling"

Plumbing & Mechanical, September 2013

This feature story from the September issue of trade magazine Plumbing & Mechanical explores the energy-efficient heating and cooling systems of Fraunhofer CSE's Building Technology Showcase. 


"The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Releases 2013 Clean Technology Industry Report Showing Strong Growth in Massachusetts"

National Law Review, September 19th, 2013

Mintz Levin's Sahir Surmeli summarizes major takeaways from MassCEC's 2013 Clean Energy Industry report. 


"Gov. Deval Patrick hails job growth in clean energy industry in Western Massachusetts", September 17th, 2013

The Republican's Dan Ring reports on MassCEC's 2013 Clean Energy Industry report, which was officially unveiled at Fraunhofer CSE by Governor Deval Patrick. 


"Melting to Keep Cool" 

PBS Nova Next, September 10th, 2013

Phase change materials (PCMs) could offer significant energy savings in buildings. Phil McKenna talks to CSE's Jan Kosny and other industry experts about these novel insulation options.


"WALL-E Goes to Work for Cheaper Solar Power"

Smithsonian Magazine, September 3rd, 2013

Fraunhofer CSE's Dr. Geoffrey Kinsey is among the solar experts quoted in this piece on Californian solar start-up QBotix. 


"Bankability 2.0: Solar PV Technology and the Real Cost of Doing Nothing"

Circular Energy, August 22nd, 2013

Solar Design Consultant Miles Whitten takes a comprehensive look at the importance of bankability in the solar industry, with special mention paid to Fraunhofer's Photovoltaic Durability Initiative. 


"The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed" 

Think Progress, August 9th, 2013

Jeff Spross discusses encouraging developments in the solar industry, with special mention given to Fraunhofer CSE's plug-and-play research. 


"Plug-And-Play Residential Solar In Five Years? Fraunhofer USA And Partners Are Working To Make This A Reality"

Forbes, August 7th, 2013

Forbes contributor Peter Kelly-Detwiler takes a closer look at our DOE-funded plug-and-play solar research project.


"PV Durability Initiative Tests First Modules"

Renewable Energy World, July 18th, 2013

REW's David Appleyard looks at the first round of testing carried out under Fraunhofer's Photovoltaic Module Durability Initiative (PVDI).


"Fraunhofer PV Durability Tests Put SunPower First"

Clean Technica, July 3rd, 2013

Clean Technica reports on the Photovoltaic Module Durability Initiative.


"Test Centers Report On PV Module Durability Initiative"

Solar Industry, June 18th, 2013

The SI Staff covers Fraunhofer's first set of PVDI results. 


"PV Durability Initiative Releases First Report"

Solar Novus Today, June 18th, 2013

Solar Novus Today reports on the first round of test results from PVDI, the joint testing venture between Fraunhofer CSE and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. 


"Solar PV R&D: What Are Researchers Working On?"

Renewable Energy World, April 29th, 2013

In the third part of her series, Renewable Energy World's Joyce Laird looks at solar research breakthroughs at Fraunhofer CSE and its German counterpart, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.


"Old Buildings Can Turn Green!"

UBM's Future Cities, April 1st, 2013

Managing Editor Mary Jander spotlights the energy-efficient HVAC used in Fraunhofer CSE's Boston headquarters as an example of how new technologies can support green retrofit projects. 


"Transparent solar cells could charge your devices while you play Angry Birds"

TechHive, March 7th, 2013

TechHive contributor Rachel Martin offers another take on Ubiquitous Energy's ClearView power films. 


"A Clear Screen Cover That Charges Devices"

Popular Science, March 5th, 2013

Popular Science blogger Francie Diep talks about TechBridge portfolio company Ubiquitous Energy. 


"GTM Guide to Solar Module Testing"

Greentech Media, February 4th, 2013

Greentech Media's Herman Trabish looks at the ins and outs of solar module testing, spotlighting Fraunhofer CSE's work with the PV Module Durability Initiative (PVDI). 


"Products Put to Test in New R&D Center"

Durability + Design, January 31st, 2013

The Journal of Architectural Coatings offers an overview of the Building Technology Showcase project. 


"Putting Building Science into Practice"

Technology Review, January 21st, 2013

At Technology Review, Martin LaMonica takes a look at some of the features and systems in Fraunhofer CSE's new Building Technology Showcase.


"Focusing on Solar Panel Durability, Not Bankability"

Greentech Media, January 15th, 2013

Greentech Media's Herman Trabish examines the PV Durability Initiative, a joint venture between Fraunhofer CSE and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

"10 tips for building an award-winning collaboration", January 4th, 2013

Joan Michelson profiles TechBridge portfolio company Cambrian Innovation, looking at the collaborations that helped Cambrian achieve its current successes.