By Kari Williamson
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has confirmed the result, which eclipsed First Solar's prior record of 13.4%.
The solar module was constructed using commercial-scale manufacturing equipment and materials at First Solar's Perrysburg, Ohio factory.
"This considerable achievement supports our module efficiency roadmap and demonstrates our ability to convert our record-cell technology into ongoing module-level improvements," says Dave Eaglesham, First Solar's Chief Technology Officer.
"These records also underscore the tremendous ongoing potential of CdTe compared to silicon-based technologies."
Updated efficiency roadmap
First Solar updated its solar module efficiency roadmap in December 2011 to the increased goal of 14.5-15% average efficiency for its production modules by the end of 2015.
The average efficiency of First Solar modules increased from 11.4% in 2010 to 11.7% in 2011, and is expected to reach 12.7% in the fourth quarter of 2012.