First Solar achieves record breaking conversion efficiency for CdTe solar cell

The company announced that, a solar cell constructed at the Perrysburg, Ohio factory, has achieved 20.4 percent conversion efficiency.

Thin-film solar company, First Solar, Inc. has set a new world record for cadmium-telluride photovoltaic solar cell conversion efficiency.

The company announced that, a solar cell constructed at the Perrysburg, Ohio factory, has achieved 20.4 percent conversion efficiency.

“This record marks another achievement in our mission to unlock the industry-changing potential of CdTe PV,” said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar’s chief technology officer. “We are demonstrating improvement in CdTe PV performance at a rate that dramatically outstrips the trajectory of conventional silicon technologies, which have already plateaued near their ultimate entitlements.”

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This new record for CdTe PV cells was certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center PV Lab and confirmed by the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

This new record best the previous record of 19.6 percent conversion efficiency set by G.E. Global Research in 2013. It builds on a solar technology partnership announced by First Solar and GE last April in which First Solar acquired G.E.’s CdTe solar intellectual property and secured a collaborative research partnership with G.E.’s research and development team.

First Solar is one of the world’s biggest providers of thin film solar power technology. The company recently announced their fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results in which they noted that they had accumulated $768 million in net sales for the fourth quarter for a total of $3.3 billion in net sales for 2013.

“For the year completed we delivered on several key objectives, including additional bookings of approximately 1.7GWdc, significant reductions to our module manufacturing cost, and a strong financial performance. As we move into 2014 the company remains focused on continuing to achieve our strategic objectives to ensure future success,” said Jim Hughes, chief executive officer of First Solar. For the first quarter of 2014, the company is looking at net sales of $800 to $900 million. – EcoSeed Staff

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