Epir Technologies Reports Advance in Thin-Film Solar-Cell Efficiency

Epir Technologies Inc., a U.S. developer of photovoltaic materials, said it produced solar cells on commercial glass from polycrystalline cadmium telluride, turning light into power with higher efficiency.

Tests demonstrated a maximum efficiency rate of 15.2 percent, the Bolingbrook, Illinois-based company said in a statement. The U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory supervised the experimental test results.

“This achievement elevates Epir to the very small group of solar companies and research facilities that have reproducibly fabricated CdTe solar cells with greater than 15 percent efficiency,” Timothy Coutts, fellow emeritus of the Golden, Colorado-based laboratory, said in the statement.

Epir, led by Chief Executive Officer Siva Sivananthan, is among technology companies that are developing thin-film solar cells as a cheaper alternative to conventional silicon-based cells. Thin film uses materials that are laid in sheets onto surfaces of roof shingles or building blocks. One of those is the compound formed from cadmium and tellurium.

A spokesman with the federal research laboratory wasn’t available for comment today before normal business hours.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd White in Madrid at twhite2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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