First Solar Builds the Highest Efficiency Thin Film PV Cell on Record
21.0 percent conversion efficiency research cell certified at
Newport TAC Lab
Performance exceeds longstanding mSi and latest CIGS records
Company officials anticipate continued efficiency achievements
TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it has set a world
record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell
conversion efficiency, achieving 21.0 percent efficiency certified at
the Newport Corporation's Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV
Lab. The record-setting cell was constructed at the company's
Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing factory and Research & Development
Center, using processes and materials designed for commercial-scale
The record has been documented in the U.S. Department of Energy's
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) "Best
Research Cell Efficiencies" reference chart.
This certified result bests the previous CdTe record of 20.4 percent
conversion efficiency, which was set by First Solar in February of 2014,
and represents the seventh substantial update to CdTe record efficiency
since 2011. The achievement also places First Solar's CdTe research cell
efficiency above copper indium gallium diselenide based solar cells
(CIGS) at 20.9 percent, and well above multicrystalline silicon (mSi),
which peaked at 20.4 percent in 2004.
"We have just begun to reveal the true unrealized potential of CdTe PV,"
said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's Chief Technology Officer. "Our
Advanced Research team continues to deliver extraordinary results by
creating practical devices capable of commercial scale production. Not
only have we have now demonstrated the highest single junction thin film
cell on record, but just as important, our record cells are based on the
same scalable manufacturing processes and commodity materials that we
have proven through years of volume production."
Garabedian noted that while competing technologies are using
increasingly costly materials and cell processes in order to deliver
moderate performance gains, First Solar is establishing a rapid path to
industry-leading energy densities, while simultaneously improving
"Our significant investment in development of CdTe thin-film technology
has enabled a rapid rate of improvement and gives us tremendous
confidence in the future," said Markus Gloeckler, First Solar Vice
President for Advanced Research. "We have made outstanding improvements
in all aspects of our thin-film solar cells and are aggressively
pursuing the commercialization of these advanced technologies in our
At an analyst briefing last March, First Solar presented a technology
roadmap anticipating a 22 percent research cell efficiency milestone in
2015. Today's announcement indicates First Solar is steadily tracking to
achieve that goal ahead of schedule.
First Solar has continued to transfer its success in the R&D lab into
its commercially produced modules, increasing its average production
module efficiency to 14.0 percent in the second quarter of 2014, up 0.5
percent from the first quarter of the year, and up 0.7 percent from
FY2013. The company's lead line was producing modules with 14.1 percent
average efficiency at the end of the second quarter of 2014.
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 safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements, among
other things, concerning: our business strategy, including anticipated
trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the
markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating
results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected
costs, warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems
("BoS") cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability and
capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per
watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct
photovoltaic ("PV") solar power systems; research and development
programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our
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factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in Item
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First Solar Media
Source: First Solar, Inc.
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