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Spectrolab designs highly efficient solar cell

Darren Murph
06.16.07
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While we certainly applaud the designers at Spectrolab for developing a solar cell that's reportedly "twice as efficient as typical rooftop solar panels," we're stifling most of our excitement until it actually leaves the laboratory. Nevertheless, the Boeing subsidiary has apparently cranked out a cell that utilizes metamorphic materials and is "designed for photovoltaic systems that use lenses and mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays onto small, high-efficiency solar cells." The unique semiconductors used are said to resemble ones that adorn satellites and planetary landers, and can capture three layers of the solar spectrum versus the single layer that traditional solar panels collect. Unfortunately, it seems that the eventual goals for this thing are rather ho hum, as the crew only expects the cells to hit 45-percent efficiency within the next six or so years. C'mon folks, you've already got alternatives at 40.

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