A new world record for solar thin film conversion efficiency has been attained. This news update came through as a research press release announcing that cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency achieved 21.0%.

A record efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab.

This record-setting cell was constructed at First Solar’s Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing factory and Research & Development Center, using processes and materials designed for commercial-scale manufacturing.

Interestingly, this ground breaking record has already been incorporated into the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) “Best Research Cell Efficiencies” reference chart. The record, which is the seventh substantial update to CdTe record efficiency since 2011; is by far the best attained.

“We have just begun to reveal the true unrealized potential of CdTe PV,” said Raffi Garabedian, Chief Technology Officer.

This breakthrough brings second-generation solar cells made from amorphous silicon or non-silicon materials closer to efficiency competitiveness with traditional solar cells made of crystalline silicon.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has 8+ years of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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