Leading cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin-film producer First Solar has set a new world record research cell conversion efficiency of 22.1%, certified at the Newport Corporation's Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab.
According to First Solar, this is the ninth major update to CdTe record efficiency since 2011. The new cell record has also been documented in the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) “Best Research Cell Efficiencies” reference chart.
Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's chief technology officer said: “We are tracking very closely to a technology roadmap we first presented in 2013 and revised upward in March 2014. At that time, we said we'd hit a 22% research cell efficiency milestone by the end of 2015. We've delivered on that promise.”
The record cell was said to have produced at First Solar’s Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing factory and Research & Development Center using processes and materials applicable to commercial-scale manufacturing.
First Solar noted that in the fourth quarter of 2015 its lead manufacturing lines were producing PV modules with 16.4% conversion efficiency.