Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning

Chair for Solar Energy Systems,
Director Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Hans-Martin Henning researches and develops technical energy systems for buildings.


Vision: Establish solutions for a climate-neutral building stock

Buildings need plenty of energy, most of which is currently provided by fossil fuels. To efficiently reduce CO2 emissions and protect resources, new technical solutions in the field of building energy technology are needed.

The central goal of the energy transition in Germany is the drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, of which the largest share are energy-related carbon dioxide missions. Germany aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2045. Other countries have set equally ambitious targets in the reduction of their CO2 emissions.

In Germany, buildings account for roughly 40 % of energy demand and for around one third of primary energy demand, while most of this energy demand is consumed by space and water heating. To significantly reduce the climate-damaging gases, especially CO2, a massive reduction of this energy is required. Furthermore, a steadily increasing share of renewable energies is necessary to cover the remaining demand.

Research in the area of building and energy technology is therefore a special concern to the members of the chair “Solar Energy Systems”. In addition to the development of technical solutions for the use of renewable energies for the provision of heat and electricity, this includes the optimization of renovation schedules for buildings that are in line with climate protection goals. The research group collaborates closely with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.


The following technical solutions are being researched by members of the “Solar Energy Systems” chair:

Renewable energy systems for buildings and districts

Evaluation and development of system solutions to utilize renewable energies in buildings and districts.

Low exergy systems

Special focus on heat pump systems and the availability of environmental heat sources in context of urban development.

Efficiency in space heating and domestic hot water

Analysis of systems for preparation of domestic hot water and space heating. System optimization and efficiency increase by developing low exergy concepts with heat pumps.

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Renovation roadmaps for apartment blocks

Development of tailored refurbishment solutions, taking into account building age and urban space type as well as technical and economical dependencies and synergies. Goal: the lowest possible cumulated greenhouse gas emissions and total costs.

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Current research areas by members of the “Solar Energy Systems” (SES) chair:

LowEx Bestand – LowEx concepts for heat supply in existing multi-family buildings

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EnEff:Stadt – Smart quarter Karlsruhe-Durlach - focus on evaluation

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Professor Hans-Martin Henning is director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg and heads the “Solar Energy Systems” chair at the Institute for Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH, University of Freiburg). He is a member of acatech (German Academy of Technical Sciences) and spokesperson for the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance.

In 1993, Professor Henning attained his doctorate in physics at the University of Oldenburg and has been active in several capacities at the Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg since 1994. In 2014, he was appointed to the “Technical Energy Systems” professorship at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT). In 2017, he became head of the Fraunhofer ISE and since then has headed the “Solar Energy Systems” chair at the Institute for Sustainable Systems Engineering.

Professor Henning’s areas of focus are building and energy technology and energy-system analysis.

He plays a leading role in the development of calculation models for holistic simulation and optimization of complex energy systems, and, building on those studies, research into the development of national and regional energy systems that involves all energy sources and consumption sectors.


Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning

Chair for Solar Energy Systems

Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg
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