First Solar Claims 21% Efficiency For Thin-Film PV Cell


First Solar Inc. claims to have achieved 21.0% efficiency for its new cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic research cell, as certified by Newport Corp.'s Technology and Applications Center.

First Solar says the record rating has been documented by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The record exceeds a previous CdTe rating of 20.4% that the company marked in February and also exceeds copper indium gallium diselenide-based solar cells at 20.9% and multicrystalline silicon at 20.4%.

First Solar says its research and development efforts are transferable to its commercially produced thin-film modules, which posted a module efficiency of 14.0% in the second quarter of the year.

‘We have just begun to reveal the true unrealized potential of CdTe PV,’ says Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's chief technology officer. ‘Our record cells are based on the same scalable manufacturing processes and commodity materials that we have proven through years of volume production.’

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