First Solar lauds 18.6% CdTe solar module efficiency
Solar park in California using thin film modules. Author: Russ Ferriday. License: Creative Commons. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
US company First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) said Monday it has achieved 18.6% aperture conversion efficiency for a full-size cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin film module.
The record result has been certified by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). That aperture area efficiency corresponds to a full area conversion efficiency of 18.2%.
“For the first time ever, First Solar has demonstrated a record module that is more efficient than the best multi-crystalline module recorded,” the company said. CTO Raffi Garabedian noted that the firm has "a great deal of technology head room" for further innovation.
CdTe thin film offers both high performance and sustainable cost structures, First Solar pointed out. Early in 2015 it announced record efficiency of 21.5% for a CdTe research photovoltaic (PV) cell. The company has set a target of reaching 22% research cell efficiency in 2015 as part of its production module conversion efficiency roadmap.