Spectrolab Hits 41.6% PV Cell Efficiency Record

Spectrolab Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company has set a new world record for terrestrial concentrator solar cell efficiency. The cell can convert 41.6 percent of concentrated sunlight into electricity.

The U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, independently tested the efficiency of the Spectrolab cell in June, validating that it surpassed the previous record of 41.1 percent held by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.

“This latest record asserts Spectrolab’s leadership position in high efficiency multijunction solar cells and brings the industry one step closer to achieving affordable solar electricity,” said David Lillington, president of Spectrolab. “This cell is an advanced version of our lattice-matched cell technology that will be incorporated quickly and successfully into our production line. This milestone underscores our emphasis on realizing the highest efficiency cells in high-volume production.”

Produced in February 2008, the new Spectrolab cell is an advanced version of the lattice-matched triple-junction technology already produced in high volumes for space and terrestrial applications at Spectrolab, which pioneered the technology more than a decade ago. The new cell incorporates multiple improvements in wafer processing to reduce metal grid shadowing and series resistance, raising the cell’s overall efficiency for conversion of sunlight to electricity.

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