EPIR, NREL achieve breakthrough CdTe cell efficiency



EPIR Technologies has joined a select group of solar cell developers by creating a polycrystalline cadmium telluride (CdTe) cell for commercial use with an efficiency exceeding 15%. The cells were developed with the help of a team of scientists from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the 15.2% efficiency achieved far surpasses the previous best figure on soda-lime glass of 14.4%.

“The combination of EPIR's expertise in CdTe materials and NREL's expertise in CdTe solar cell device technology has empowered us to achieve these excellent results in a short timeframe.”said Dr. Siva Sivananthan, founder and CEO of EPIR.

The record-breaking numbers were driven by a fill factor of 77.6% – one of the highest values ever recorded for a CdTe cell, according to Dr. Chollada Gilmore, EPIR's CdTe solar cell technical lead. “These results are significant because our solar cells were fabricated using inexpensive commercial TEC-series glass substrates as opposed to technical-grade glass which is commonly used in champion cell fabrication.”

“This is an important advancement for CdTe thin-film PV technology because it not only surpasses the previous best result that was published for commercial soda-lime glass by a clear margin, but all the layers incorporated into this new device structure are consistent with present commercial manufacturing processes,” added Dr. Timothy Gessert, the principal scientist and group manager of the NREL CdTe research group.

EPIR did not disclose any information on when the CdTe cell would be ready for consumer distribution.

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