First Solar’s PV module sets world record conversion efficiency

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) announced it has set a world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module conversion efficiency, achieving a record 17.0 percent total area module efficiency in tests performed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The new record is an increase over the prior record of 16.1 percent efficiency, which the company set in April 2013. This announcement comes weeks after First Solar announced it achieved a world record in CdTe research cell efficiency of 20.4 percent.

The record-setting module was created at First Solar’s Research and Development Center in Perrysburg, Ohio, using production-scale processes and materials, and included several recent technology enhancements that are incrementally being implemented on the company’s commercial production lines.

The First Solar research module also has a confirmed “aperture area” conversion efficiency of 17.5 percent. Many manufacturers often quote this aperture area efficiency when claiming record performance, particularly for small mini-modules custom-built in R&D labs. First Solar’s record is all the more significant because it is full production size.

“This achievement demonstrates our ability to rapidly and reliably transfer research results to full-size modules. We can take CdTe innovation from the lab to production faster and more reliably than other technologies due to our robust, adaptable manufacturing processes and the accommodating nature of CdTe material technology,” said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's chief technology officer. “Our R&D efforts are delivering technology that will quickly be scaled to real-world application as part of our integrated power plant systems, which are engineered to deliver the best performance, reliability and value for our customers.”

Garabedian said the efficiency milestone is also a signal that First Solar’s CdTe modules are becoming a more attractive option for application in constrained space projects and commercial/industrial installations. “With the highest demonstrated thin-film module performance, we are positioned to pursue new deployment opportunities around the world,” he said.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs