Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Thin-Film Solar Cell Efficiency Record Set By First Solar (Again)

Originally published on Solar Love.

First Solar, the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar photovoltaic cells and modules, has bettered its record of producing the most efficient thin-film solar cell.

First Solar Power Project

Credit: First Solar

The US-based company recently announced that a cell manufactured at its Ohio manufacturing factory and research & development center achieved an efficiency of 21%, the highest on record by a non-concentrating cadmium-telluride (CdTe) cell.

The efficiency of the research cell, certified by Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab, is 3% more than a cell manufactured by First Solar in February 2014. The encouraging fact about the cell is that it has been constructed using processes and materials designed for commercial-scale manufacturing, thus making is possibly easier for First Solar to quickly switch to the cell’s mass production.

The new cell’s efficiency is now second only to a concentrating version of the CdTe cell in the thin-film solar cell domain. Within the non-concentrating segment, the second-highest efficiency was achieved by a Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) cell at 20.9%. Solar Frontier made that cell earlier this year. First Solar has also gone a notch up on multi-crystalline silicon cells, whose efficiency peaked at 20.4% in 2004.

Also, as noted in a recent CleanTechnica exclusive, First Solar module efficiency doesn’t drop as much in hot temperatures as crystalline silicon solar modules.

The company will now look to replicate its success in the production facilities. The average production module efficiency in Q2 2014 reached 14%, up 0.5% from Q1 2014 and up 0.7% from FY2013. First Solar has set a target to enhance research cell efficiency to 22% in 2015.

Steady improvement in cell efficiency is critical for First Solar’s ability to sustain big sales and churn out profits. The recently announced second quarter financial results reveal that the company’s net sales were $544 million, a massive decline of $406 million compared to the first quarter. The company is facing competition from cheap Chinese modules and anti-dumping duties in major solar power markets like India.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Mridul currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

First Solar will build a new solar panel factory in Alabama, thanks in no small part by policies and funding from the federal government.

Clean Power

The US manufacturer First Solar lays plans for more made-in-USA solar panels, drops hint about solar-friendly policy-making.

Clean Power

Intersect Power expected to be one of the largest buyers and operators of First Solar technology by 2027 TEMPE, Arizona — US-headquartered First Solar,...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.