First Solar claims 20.4% conversion efficiency achieved
Developed with cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics, the recorded conversion efficiency now matches the research cell efficiency score of multi-crystalline silicon technology.
First Solar's conversion efficiency figure was certified at the Newport Corporation's Technology and Applications Centre PV Lab and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The result betters the previous record of 19.6 per cent set by GE Global Research in 2013.
In April 2013, First Solar and GE announced a solar technology partnership in which First Solar acquired GE's CdTe solar intellectual property and secured a collaborative research partnership with GE's R&D team. The partnership was formed to accelerate innovation in PV technology and accelerate solar module performance at manufacturing scale.
First Solar CTO Raffi Garabedian said that the company is proceeding with the commercialisation of the technologies and processes used in the development of the said record-setting solar cell.
The company defined the transfer of its success in the R&D lab into its commercial modules with an increase in its average production module efficiency to 13.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 12.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- Paul Buckley
EE Times Europe
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