CdTe photovoltaic solar-cell efficiency record of 17.3% set by First Solar

July 29, 2011
Tempe, AZ--First Solar set a new world record of 17.3% for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) solar cell efficiency.

Tempe, AZ--A new world record of 17.3% for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) solar cell efficiency using commercial-scale manufacturing equipment and materials was set by First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR). The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL; Golden, CO) confirmed performance of the CdTe PV test cell, which far surpassed the previous 2001 record of 16.7%.

The average efficiency of First Solar CdTe modules produced in Q1 2011 was 11.7%, up from 11.1% a year earlier, and the company has recorded full-module efficiencies of more than 13.5%, with a 13.4% percent module confirmed by NREL. First Solar's module efficiency roadmap sets a goal for production-module efficiencies of 13.5-14.5% by the end of 2014.

"This is a significant milestone that demonstrates the ongoing potential of our advanced thin-film technology," said Dave Eaglesham, CTO at First Solar. "This leap forward in R&D supports our efficiency roadmap for our production modules and will recalibrate industry expectations for the long-term efficiency potential of CdTe technology."

First Solar's continuous manufacturing process transforms a sheet of glass into a complete solar module in less than 2.5 hours. They have also implemented the industry's first comprehensive, prefunded solar module collection and recycling program. Anyone wishing to dispose of First Solar modules can request collection at any time, at no additional cost, and First Solar will pick up the modules and recycle up to 90% (by mass) of the material for use in new products, including new solar modules and new glass products.

SOURCE: First Solar;

Posted by:Gail OvertonSubscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free! Follow us on TwitterFollow OptoIQ on your iPhone. Download the free App here

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