First Solar (FSLR) Ramps Up Thin Film Solar Cell Efficiency

In an article over at Bloomberg, it was announced that First Solar (FSLR) will begin incorporating record breaking thin film solar cell technology into its manufacturing process next quarter in order to better compete with its Chinese rivals.  The company developed a cell that can convert at 17.3% and they believe they can get 15.3% from these cells in mass production.  That’s quite a jump from the 11.7% efficiency the company has been averaging.

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“There were about a dozen changes that we’ll be phasing into production,” starting in the fourth quarter, Eaglesham said in an interview at the company’s factory in Perrysburg, Ohio, on Sept. 2.

Commenting on the changes, Eaglesham won’t reveal all the secrets:

“Just better optical management plus electrical losses isn’t enough.  We did something else that we can’t discuss but everyone on the floor is buzzing about it.”

Mark Bachman of Avian Securities believes FSLR could very well be the first in the solar industry to compete on price with fossil fuels without subsidies and that could happen within 5 years. 

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