First Solar Sets CdTe Module Efficiency World Record, Launches Series 3 Black Module
16.1 Percent Total Area Efficiency Module Confirmed by NREL;
Enhanced Series 3 Module Platform Certified for Desert Conditions &
Production Module Efficiency Roadmap Accelerated and Extended to
16.4-17.1 Percent for 2017
TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it set a new world
record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module conversion
efficiency, achieving a record 16.1 percent total area module efficiency
in tests confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable
Energy Laboratory (NREL). The new record is a substantial increase over
the prior record of 14.4 percent efficiency, which the Company set in
January 2012. Separately, First Solar also set a record for CdTe open
circuit voltage (VOC), a critical parameter for PV
performance, reaching 903.2 millivolts (mV) in NREL-certified testing.
This new record marks the first substantial increase in CdTe VOC
in over a decade of international R&D. The new records come just six
weeks after First Solar announced a new world record for CdTe solar cell
efficiency of 18.7 percent.
First Solar's R&D team in Perrysburg, Ohio, set a new world record for CdTe module conversion efficiency, achieving 16.1 percent in tests confirmed by NREL. (Photo: Business Wire)
Transferring its success in the R&D lab to its commercial modules, First
Solar also launched a new evolution of its proven Series 3 thin-film PV
module platform, the Series 3 BlackTM, which incorporates
First Solar's latest advances in conversion efficiency as well as
additional features to enhance its performance in utility-scale power
plants. The all-black module's change in appearance results from the use
of an advanced, all-black edge seal technology combined with an
innovative encapsulation material that further enhances its field
durability and demonstrates improvements in accelerated life testing
The Series 3 Black's performance in a wide range of operating
environments is further validated by its new IEC 60068-2-68 "sand and
dust test" certification, which measures durability in harsh desert
environments characterized by blowing abrasive sand. The certification
complements existing IEC salt mist and ammonia certifications to provide
a comprehensive range of independent testing that reflects world-class
durability and performance in the harshest operating conditions. The
Series 3 Black module maintains all the existing IEC certifications and
UL listings for the Series 3 family which enable the 1000-volt system
designs that typify the Company's utility-scale power plants. First
Solar began to implement the Series 3 Black enhancements in production
modules earlier this year.
Based on the Company's record-setting technology and robust Series 3
Black platform, the Company also has accelerated its module conversion
efficiency roadmap, raising its lead production line module efficiency
target for 2015 to 15-16.2 percent. First Solar also extended its module
conversion efficiency roadmap to 2017, with targets for lead production
line module efficiency of 16.2-16.9 percent in 2016 and 16.4-17.1
percent in 2017.
"We are especially proud of this new efficiency record because the
technology was created for production-scale implementation, as evidenced
by our accelerated efficiency roadmaps," said Raffi Garabedian, First
Solar's Chief Technology Officer. "Measurements in the lab are an
important benchmark, but our R&D mission is to deliver technology that
is designed to shine in real-world conditions as part of our integrated
power plant systems, engineered to deliver the best performance,
reliability and value for our customers. The Series 3 Black is a
testament to our integrated approach to product development, combining
technological advances from the lab with years of real-world data and
experience operating utility-scale power plants in harsh environments."
Since it began commercial production in 2002, First Solar has produced
more than 90 million of its advanced thin-film solar modules with a
capacity of over 7 gigawatts (GW), enough to provide clean electricity
for more than 3.7 million homes and displace approximately 5 million
metric tons of CO2 annually, based on world averages. If laid
end-to-end, the modules would circle the equator nearly three times.
First Solar utilizes a continuous manufacturing process which transforms
a sheet of glass into a complete solar module in less than 2.5 hours,
contributing to the industry-leading energy payback time and low carbon
footprint of systems using First Solar PV modules.
For more information visit: http://www.firstsolar.com/Innovation/Advanced-Thin-Film-Modules.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic
(PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology.
The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically
attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From
raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First
Solar's renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.
For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant
to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not
constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a
number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially,
including risks associated with the company's business involving the
company's products, their development and distribution, economic and
competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and
other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any
forward-looking information contained in this press release or with
respect to the announcements described herein.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20130409006059/en/
First Solar, Inc.
Ted Meyer, +1 602-427-3318
Krum, +1 602-427-3359
Brady, +1 602-414-9315
Ferguson, +1 602-414-9315
Source: First Solar, Inc.
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