Thin Film PV Cell Breaks Efficiency Record

August 6, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

First Solar Energy ManageFirst Solar has set a world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic  research cell conversion efficiency, achieving 21.0 percent efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center PV Lab.

The record-setting cell was constructed at the company’s Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing factory and Research & Development Center, using processes and materials designed for commercial-scale manufacturing.

The record has been documented in the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory “Best Research Cell Efficiencies” reference chart.

This certified result bests the previous CdTe record of 20.4 percent conversion efficiency, which was set by First Solar in February of 2014, and represents the seventh substantial update to CdTe record efficiency since 2011. The achievement also places First Solar’s CdTe research cell efficiency above copper indium gallium diselenide based solar cells (CIGS) at 20.9 percent, and well above multicrystalline silicon (mSi), which peaked at 20.4 percent in 2004, says the company.

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