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Solar & Alternative Energy

William H. Huber plenary: The Renaissance of CdTe-based Photovoltaics

A plenary talk from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014.

10 October 2014, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201410.13

William H. Huber, GE Global Research

In this plenary session, William Huber of GE Global Research (USA) highlights the advantages of CdTe for PV, key advancements in the field and opportunities for further improvements.

Over the past several years, CdTe-based photovoltaics have undergone a revolution. CdTe is a mature PV technology, spanning more than 55 years. Steady advancements in CdTe module manufacturing, coupled with CdTe's inherent manufacturing simplicity, have driven down the cost of commercial CdTe modules to under $0.55/W at present.

Until recently however, CdTe module efficiencies have lagged behind competing technologies. For a decade, CdTe record efficiencies remained dormant, far behind poly Si as well as the competing thin film PV technology, CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS). Over the past several years, CdTe record cell efficiencies have dramatically increased and are nearly at parity with poly Si and CIGS. Given the recent trajectory, CdTe is poised to become the most efficient polycrystalline PV technology in the near future.

William Huber, a senior scientist at GE Global Research, is leading the efficiency improvement program. While at GE, he has conducted applied research on a variety of different topics including photovoltaics, surgical navigational systems, hybrid manufacturing and medical imaging.