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Boeing to mass-produce record-breaking 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell

Boeing to mass-produce record-...
Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab has announced it will mass-produce a 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell
Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab has announced it will mass-produce a 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell
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The Amonix 7700 Solar Power Generator (Image: Mbudzi via Wikipedia)
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The Amonix 7700 Solar Power Generator (Image: Mbudzi via Wikipedia)
Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab has announced it will mass-produce a 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell
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Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab has announced it will mass-produce a 39.2 percent efficiency solar cell

When it comes to solar cells, everyone is chasing the highest conversion efficiency. Although we’ve seen conversion efficiencies of over 40 percent achieved with multi-junction solar cells in lab environments, Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab is bringing this kind of efficiency to mass production with the announcement of its C3MJ+ solar cells which boast an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 percent.

As far back as 2006 Spectrolab was achieving conversion efficiencies of over 40 percent in the lab with its high-efficiency multi-junction concentrator solar cells and it reached a peak of 41.6 percent with a test cell last year, setting a new world record. The company’s newest terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cell, called the C3MJ+, uses essentially the same technology as its record breaking test cell and follows on from its C3MJ solar cell in production since mid-2009 which boasts a conversion efficiency of 38.5 percent. The C3MJ+ solar cells

"Given the new cells' close similarity to our existing production cells, we believe that our current C3MJ customers will be able to easily upgrade for more efficiency," said Russ Jones, Spectrolab director of CPV Business Development.

Spectrolab claims the title of the world’s leading supplier of solar cells for satellites with its cells supplying power to around 60 percent of satellites currently in orbit, as well as the International Space Station. Boeing hopes to transfer that success to the terrestrial solar cell market with the new high-efficiency solar cells that are expected to be available from January. And it won’t be resting on its laurels. It expects Spectrolab will achieve a 40 percent average production efficiency for terrestrial solar cells in 2011.

15 comments
Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Major breakthrough in Solar Cell Efficiency. Congratulations Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
Jeff Holden
It\'s good to see steadily improving efficiency that is translated into commercial products. The question we must all ask therefore, is what will be the installed cost per watt?
MonacoJim
Why is it that past patent applications were slapped with a secrecy order? How can we ever get efficient solar panels or power systems for the public? They don\'t want green eco systems they want to keep selling oil and controlling everyone. We are being held back in every technical area. Look at the terms for restricting patent applications in 1971:- \"Thus, the 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies %u201Cin excess of 70-80%.%u201D The Federation of American Scientists has published an extremely important article entitled Invention Secrecy Still Going Strong. It comes from a mainstream organization and corroborates information The Orion Project has presented. We are constantly asked, \"If better energy systems exist, why are they not available for public use?\" The following article addresses one reason: The systematic suppression of energy inventions by abuse of the national security provisions of U.S. law. This means that thousands of inventions have been suppressed- and more than that number through national security orders not issued via the patent process. This is why the Orion Project has a specific strategy to develop and bring out to the public such energy inventions: One that stands up to these abuses. With your help we can do it! Invention Secrecy Still Going Strong Source: FAS Project on Government Secrecy http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2010/10/invention_secrecy_2010.html October 21st, 2010 by Steven Aftergood There were 5,135 inventions that were under secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office told Secrecy News last week. It%u2019s a 1% rise over the year before, and the highest total in more than a decade. Under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, patent applications on new inventions can be subject to secrecy orders restricting their publication if government agencies believe that disclosure would be %u201Cdetrimental to the national security.%u201D The current list of technology areas that is used to screen patent applications for possible restriction under the Invention Secrecy Act is not publicly available and has been denied under the Freedom of Information Act. (An appeal is pending.) But a previous list dated 1971 and obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky is available here (pdf). Most of the listed technology areas are closely related to military applications. But some of them range more widely. Thus, the 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies %u201Cin excess of 70-80%.%u201D One may fairly ask if disclosure of such technologies could really have been %u201Cdetrimental to the national security,%u201D or whether the opposite would be closer to the truth. One may further ask what comparable advances in technology may be subject to restriction and non-disclosure today. But no answers are forthcoming, and the invention secrecy system persists with no discernible external review.
Jay Finke
mass-produce ? we need them here on the ground, sound like there just for space use ... Jay
Billy Robb
The thing that sucks about all these breakthroughs is that they never reach the retail stores. I\'ve been waiting forever for the thin film solar panels. Where are they? I have my suspicions, cough, cough, oil lobby, cough.
froginapot
I applaud this achievement. But when I read this I wonder why there is no mention of real cost. Cost and the amount of resources used, and the importance of how easy it will be to recycle the elements and the length of time the solar cells will last? Why aren\'t these questions covered by the author? Every solar article should either give these answers or say we couldn\'t get any information on these areas. How much will a system cost for the average household? What are the resouces used? Especially silicon? Heavy metals. Is the product easily recycled? We don\'t want to make a new problem. How long will the solar cells last? Do they last longer or do they last shorter than the current ones? These questions should be covered by the author. It\'s just basic logic. But I still applaud the possibility that this is something.
John M
Whats the BIG DEAL , Solar window is 3 times more efficient & can be sprayed on virtually any surface. THAT IS A MAJOR BREAK THROUGH. Cant wait to get some of those. Kiwi
Facebook User
All I want to know is how soon will it be before China will be producing these new panels without paying any royalty to the patent owners?
kelvint63
Let%u2019s not get ahead of ourselves and put the cart before the horse. Everyone loves to beat up on the Oil Companies as if they are the only ones who have something to lose with a reduction in oil consumption; the Government (in particular the DOT) has more to lose than the Oil Companies. Think about it; every gallon of gas sold has a %u201Ctax%u201D on it. That money goes a long way in maintaining roads that the cars are driving on (including electrics cars); where will that money come from when the oil is gone? The Government does not give up money without having a replacement source in place. It%u2019s already a problem now with cars getting more efficient (less gas; less tax) and here in Florida we have seen our annual auto registration fees doubled 2 years ago to try and make up for the short fall. Oil is intricately entrenched in our modern society and eliminating our dependency on it is akin to a surgeon separating conjoined twins; one swift cut is not going to work.
nyc3287
Kelvint63, That comment you made, sounds like the ones that justified slavery in the South back in the eighteenth and 19th centuries. People are really brainwashed into being sysyem fodder. It is precisely this type of attitude that perpetuated the dark ages, the inquisition, slavery, the feudal system in Europe etc. We are talking about the government of the USA with more power that imaginable, and you really believe that the revenue can\'t be raised if the governmant wanted it to be raised. This government with emminent domain powers, with patriot law powers, Secrecy act powers, and you really believe that if less oil is used, the goverment can\'t find an alternative way of raising revenue. You are either a shill for the oil industry or someone who ate the lead paint off the wall when he was a kid.