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First Solar sets another cell efficiency record

US company continues rapid progress with cadmium-telluride technology.

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Cadmium cell, Record, Solar, News

First Solar has set another world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency.

The US company achieved 21.5% efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation's Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab.

The record has been logged by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

It is the eighth substantial update to CdTe efficiency since 2011, firmly establishing a trend of rapid performance improvements.

"Our latest research cell efficiency record is a result of continued learning in the material science and device physics of CdTe solar cells," said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's Chief Technology Officer.

"Our work is not done in isolation, but is in part a result of the many fruitful collaborations we have with academia, national labs, and our industrial partners, most notably GE Global Research.

“The learning has enabled us to further optimize our fabrication processes and thereby boost the performance of practical devices further towards the theoretical limit."

In March of 2014, First Solar presented a technology roadmap anticipating a 22% research cell efficiency milestone in 2015.

"Given the slope of our research cell improvements and the fact that it's still February, we remain confident that we'll meet or exceed our roadmap expectations," said Garabedian.

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