First Solar Breaks Solar Cell Efficiency Record For CdTe Solar Cells… Yet Again

  • Published on February 8th, 2015

A new world record conversion efficiency for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar photovoltaic cells was recently achieved by researchers at First Solar’s Research & Development Center in Perrysburg, Ohio.

The new record of 21.5% efficiency was verified and certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center PV Lab — and keeps the solar developer on track with regard to its current research and development roadmap.

first solar efficiency record

Its worth noting here that the processes and materials used in the creation of the new record-setting solar cell are all “suitable” for commercial-scale manufacturing, according to First Solar.

The new record represents the 8th notable update to the CdTe cell record efficiency since 2011 — demonstrating the rapid improvement seen in the technology over the last few years… which has been overwhelmingly driven by First Solar.

“Our latest research cell efficiency record is a result of continued learning in the material science and device physics of CdTe solar cells,” explained Raffi Garabedian, First Solar’s Chief Technology Officer, in an email sent to Solar Love. “Our work is not done in isolation, but is in part a result of the many fruitful collaborations we have with academia, national labs, and our industrial partners, most notably GE Global Research. The learning has enabled us to further optimize our fabrication processes and thereby boost the performance of practical devices further towards the theoretical limit.”

On a related note, First Solar also recently made the announcement that its commercial solar modules passed Atlas 25+ certification — across all parameters: power output; insulation resistance; and visual damage; in the hot/arid, subtropical, temperate and composite climate simulations.

Image Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.
  • Mike Dill

    Really nice, but what I need right now is the efficiencies for panels that exist now. I want to put another 4kw on my roof in the next year. Best I have seen are in the 15% to 17% range. Are here better ones near production?