Tag Archives: PV

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

First Solar Builds Highest Efficiency Thin Film PV Cell

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 manufacturing.

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 manufacturing metrics.

“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 product.”

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.

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

First Solar Sets World Record for CdTe Solar Cell Efficiency

Tempe-based First Solar, Inc. announced it has set a world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) solar cell conversion efficiency, achieving 20.4 percent conversion efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The record-setting cell was constructed at the company’s Perrysburg, Ohio factory and Research & Development Center.

This certified result bests the previous record of 19.6 percent conversion efficiency set by GE Global Research in 2013. Last April, First Solar and GE announced a solar technology partnership in which First Solar acquired GE’s CdTe solar intellectual property and secured a collaborative research partnership with GE’s R&D team. The partnership was formed to accelerate innovation in PV technology and accelerate solar module performance at manufacturing scale.

“This record marks another achievement in our mission to unlock the industry-changing potential of CdTe PV,” said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar’s Chief Technology Officer. “We are demonstrating improvement in CdTe PV performance at a rate that dramatically outstrips the trajectory of conventional silicon technologies, which have already plateaued near their ultimate entitlements. The synergy realized in our partnership with GE also demonstrates the value of our consistent and strong investment in R&D. The advanced technologies and processes we developed for this record-setting cell are already being commercialized and will positively impact performance of our future production modules and power plants.”

First Solar’s new CdTe research cell conversion efficiency matches the research cell efficiency record of multicrystalline silicon, another technology used in the PV solar market.

First Solar has continued to transfer its success in the R&D lab into its commercial modules, increasing its average production module efficiency to 13.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 0.6 percent from 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company’s lead line was producing modules with 13.9 percent average efficiency at the end of 2013.

solar.plant

Mesquite Solar facility ready for business

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck today joined Sempra U.S. Gas & Power officials and community leaders to dedicate the 150-megawatt (MW) first phase of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s Mesquite Solar facility.

Located in Arlington, Ariz., about 40 miles west of Phoenix, Mesquite Solar 1 is part of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s massive 4,000-acre Mesquite Solar complex, with the potential to build out up to 700 MW of capacity. The Mesquite Solar Complex is well-positioned to be North America’s largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power installation.

“Mesquite Solar 1 represents a major step forward for the state of Arizona as we continue down the path toward our goal of establishing ourselves as the nation’s leader

in solar generation,” said Bennett.  “Sempra U.S. Gas and Power has demonstrated

remarkable leadership with this project, and we look to continue working together to fully build-out the Mesquite Solar Complex.”

“This is a shining moment for the state of Arizona as it continues to establish itself as a renewable energy leader,” said Kevin C. Sagara, vice president of renewables for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. “There is so much to be proud of here.  Our project would not have been possible without all the tremendous support we received at the federal, state and local level.”

Construction on Mesquite Solar 1 began in June 2011.  The solar project provided a boost to the local economy by creating more than 500 local construction jobs at peak along with 10 long-term positions. The landmark solar plant was completed in December 2012 and now generates enough emission-free electricity for about 56,000 homes.

The renewable power from Mesquite Solar 1 is sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract.

Completion of Mesquite Solar 1 brings Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s operating solar portfolio up to 300 MW. The company has another 308 MW under construction at its Copper Mountain Solar 2 and Copper Mountain Solar 3 facilities in Boulder City, Nev.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC is a leading developer of renewable energy and natural gas solutions.  The company operates solar, wind and natural gas power plants that generate enough electricity for nearly 1 million homes, along with natural gas storage, pipelines and distribution utilities. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2012 revenues of approximately $10 billion.  The Sempra Energy companies’ nearly 17,000 employees serve more than 31 million consumers worldwide.  For more information, visit www.SempraUSGP.com.