First Solar surpasses GE’s CdTe cell efficiency record



First Solar has reported a world record for a CdTe solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 20.4%.

The record was certified at Newport Corp’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab and confirmed by NREL, and beats the previous record of 19.6% set by technology partner and shareholder, GE, in 2013.

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“This record marks another achievement in our mission to unlock the industry-changing potential of CdTe PV,” said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's chief technology officer. “We are demonstrating improvement in CdTe PV performance at a rate that dramatically outstrips the trajectory of conventional silicon technologies, which have already plateaued near their ultimate entitlements.

“The synergy realised in our partnership with GE also demonstrates the value of our consistent and strong investment in R&D. The advanced technologies and processes we developed for this record-setting cell are already being commercialised and will positively impact performance of our future production modules and power plants.”

The company noted in a conference to discuss fourth quarter 2013 results that its best production line achieved a module conversion efficiency of 14.2%. 

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