Best known for their massive jet planes, powerhouse Boeing is set to begin the large-scale production of their highly efficient concentrator photovoltaic cell (CPV), the C3MJ+. The cell is said to be one of the highest efficiency cells on the market today, with an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 percent. The cells, produced by Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab, will be a major improvement on the C3MJ cells currently in production, which can convert 38.5 percent of the sun’s rays into electricity.

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Spectrolab is a market leader when it comes to the production of solar cells and photovoltaic technology, and has been producing such elements for various space and terrestrial applications for 50 years. Since 2007, the company has been introducing the large-scale production of solar cells that have consistently boasted an increased energy-conversion efficiency rate year on year.

The researchers at Spectrolab have even set a world record for solar cell efficiency with a test prototype that peaked at 41.6% – it has been said to be the basis for the solar cell C3MJ+ technology.

Speaking about the new cells, Russ Jones,Spectrolab director of CPV Business Development stated, “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 between concentrator photovoltaic cells and 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.

Considering their success in the past, it is no surprise to learn that Spectrolab is expecting a 40 percent average production efficiency for terrestrial solar cells in 2011.

+ Spectrolab

via Green Optimistic