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Boeing Shatters Solar Power Record with 39.2% Cell Efficiency

It seems like everyone is pushing for a lead in the solar energy game. Who’s catapulting themselves into first place now? The world’s largest aerospace company, The Boeing Co.

Boeing hopes to introduce their high-efficiency C3MJ+ solar cells around the globe as early as January, 2011. Created by their wholly-owned subsidiary, Spectrolab, this technology is made for land-based PV solar panels, solar simulators and searchlights. The cells are able to convert a whopping 39.2% of sunlight into electricity.

Spectrolab has already shown great success with its solar panels, which supply power to 60% of the satellites orbiting Earth—the same kind of success they hope to see with their single-crystal germanium substrate cells that have been tailored for terrestrial energy production. All in all, Boeing hopes to produce 10 million of these cells, if the demand calls for it.

The current record for converting sunlight into PV solar electricity is 24.2%, set by San Jose-based SunPower Corp. If Spectrolab follows through with their plans, this could be a whole new game entirely.

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6 comments on “Boeing Shatters Solar Power Record with 39.2% Cell Efficiency

This is a great breakthrough! I have a very close friend there at Boeing whom is employed as an engineer. They are always working towards the highest of innovations in the science and engineering realm. It is wonderful to see a large corporation like Boeing to move into the Energy Field. Our connection to our friend in Boeing has been more than interesting with their new future creations. Thank you Boeing for always being a leader in aviation technology and now Energy Technology.


Tony Z.

Also I would like to add that we at Energywyze can improve Solar power with our new module Intelawatt. You can get all the information at our website and if you have any questions feel free to call Tony at 714-476-7168.


Efficiency is only part of the game, what really matters is cost per watt. You see it doesn’t matter if they can make a module that has a rating of 50% efficiency if it cost 10x the cost of a 20% efficient module.

I’m curious about this. What is the measurement standard. In January of last year, the first article I wrote for, a website I co-founded detailed the 41.1% efficiency of a solar cell that had been achieved. I realize these are “factory” conditions, but how does it compare to Boeing’s announcement?


Efficiency matters much less than the cost per watt output, unless you are in outer space.

If it produces power at less than $1/watt, then good. Otherwise only somebody with a space satellite will care.

[…] I didn’t know Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, was working on solar research and development, let alone that it might push the efficiency of solar panels to new hights with 39.2 percent. As CleanTechies notes : […]

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