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Boeing Plans Large-Scale Production of 39.2 Percent Efficient Photovoltaic Cells


Spectrolab, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing company, is responsible for the creation of the newest terrestrial solar cell, called C3MJ+. The concentrator photovoltaic cells (CPV) are announced to be the industry’s highest-efficiency cell with an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 percent.

The CVPs are an improvement on the C3MJ cells currently in production, which convert 38.5% of the sun’s rays into electricity.

Spectrolab has a 50-year history and experience when it comes to manufacturing solar cells for various space and terrestrial applications. The company has introduced large-scale production of solar cells with increased energy-conversion efficiency each year since 2007.

Last year the researchers at Spectrolab set a world record of efficiency with a test prototype that peaked at 41.6%, founding the basis for the C3MJ+ technology.

Russ Jones, Spectrolab director of CPV Business Development stated that “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.”

The important difference of CPV from the conventional PV cells is the multi-layer structure of semiconductor material aimed at generating power in correspondence to various frequencies of sunlight. The overall system is a combination of lenses and mirrors consisting of multi-junction cells. Spectrolab expects a 40% average production efficiency for terrestrial solar cells in 2011.

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