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23 February 2016

First Solar raises CdTe PV cell conversion efficiency record from 21.5% to 22.1%

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has again raised its world record for cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency, from 21.5% (reported in February 2015) to 22.1%, as certified at the Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab of Newport Corp. The new record has also been documented in the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 'Best Research Cell Efficiencies' reference chart.

The record research cell was fabricated at First Solar's manufacturing factory and Research & Development Center in Perrysburg, OH, USA using processes and materials suitable for commercial-scale manufacturing.
First Solar says the record confirms that it is on pace with its established research cell roadmap, and validates CdTe's growing competitive advantage over multi-crystalline silicon technology and other commercial thin film PV.

This is the ninth substantial update to CdTe record efficiency since 2011, establishing a sustained trend of rapid performance improvements that significantly outstrips all other commercial technologies, says First Solar.

"We are tracking very closely to a technology roadmap we first presented in 2013 and revised upward in March 2014," says chief technology officer Raffi Garabedian. "At that time, we said we'd hit a 22% research cell efficiency milestone by the end of 2015. We've delivered on that promise," he adds. "In recent years and based on our research cell progress, we've improved the efficiency and energy density of our mass-produced commercial PV modules at a rate at least three times faster than our multi-crystalline silicon competitors. We fully expect to further separate ourselves from the pack in coming years." 

Garabedian notes that First Solar's lead manufacturing lines were producing PV modules with 16.4% conversion efficiency in fourth-quarter 2015, and that the research cell efficiency record serves as a driver for integrating performance improvement into the real-world manufacturing environment.

See related items:

First Solar raises its CdTe PV cell conversion efficiency record to 21.5%

First Solar fabricates record 21.0%-efficient thin-film PV cell

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.nrel.gov/ncpv/images/efficiency_chart.jpg

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