Wednesday 27 January 2021

First Solar achieves CdTe cell efficiency record

US, February 24, 2016

First Solar, a leader in solar power systems, has set a new world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency, achieving 22.1 per cent efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab.

The achievement confirms that the company 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, said a statement from First Solar.

The record-setting research cell was constructed at the company’s Perrysburg, Ohio, US, manufacturing factory and research and development centre using processes and materials suitable for commercial-scale manufacturing, it added.

In addition to the Newport TAC Lab certification, the record has been documented in the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) “Best Research Cell Efficiencies” reference chart, it said.

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

Raffi Garabedian, chief technology officer, First Solar, said: “We are tracking very closely to a technology roadmap we presented in 2013 and revised upward in March 2014.”

“At that time, we said we’d hit a 22 per cent research cell efficiency milestone by the end of 2015.  We’ve delivered on that promise. The accomplishment validates our continued confidence in CdTe as a superior PV material that combines cost effectiveness, reliability and high performance,” he said.

“In recent years and based on our research cell progress, we have 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 Si competitors. We fully expect to further separate ourselves from the pack in coming years,” he added.

Garabedian noted that First Solar’s lead manufacturing lines were producing PV modules with 16.4 per cent conversion efficiency in (final quarter) Q4 2015, and that the research cell efficiency accomplishment serves as a powerful driver for integrating performance improvement into the real-world manufacturing environment, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: record | efficiency | First Solar |

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