The energy transition in Germany, Europe, and across the world is driving robust demand for solar panels. Alongside high energy yields, aesthetics and acceptance are also increasingly important factors. To accommodate these trends, a team of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed an innovative solar facade element that can be incorporated into a building’s exterior practically invisibly and without any significant loss of efficiency. With the development of MorphoColor® coating technology, the experts have made an important contribution to the expansion of integrated photovoltaic systems in Germany. For this groundbreaking project, they will be presented with the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for 2024.

Photovoltaic systems are not a popular design feature among architects and building owners. Researchers Dr. Oliver Höhn, Dr. Thomas Kroyer and Andreas Wessels from Fraunhofer ISE, based in Freiburg, set out to change that by developing aesthetically pleasing colored solar panels that feature angularly stable, saturated color with minimal loss of efficiency, so they can be integrated practically invisibly into building exteriors.