First Solar Achieves 18.6% Thin-Film Module Conversion Efficiency


First Solar Inc. says it has achieved 18.6% aperture efficiency for a full-size cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic module.

The achievement has been measured and certified by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The 18.6% aperture area efficiency corresponds to a full area conversion efficiency of 18.2%. In January, First Solar produced a research cell with a 21.5% conversion efficiency.

First Solar considers the module's performance to be consistent with its long-term technology road map.

‘First Solar's CdTe thin film is now rightly categorized as a high-performance product,’ says Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's chief technology officer. ‘At one time, we might have been characterized as a low-cost, low-efficiency technology, but consistent with our technology projections, we are now proving that CdTe thin-film delivers both industry-leading performance and sustainable thin-film cost structures.’

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