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Los Angeles, CA, United States

Spectrolab is a manufacturer of space solar cells and panels headquartered in Sylmar, California. It is a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, and part of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Spectrolab was founded in 1956 by Alfred E. Mann, who has gone on to become a billionaire American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Spectrolab was originally a division of Textron. Spectrolab was acquired by Hughes Aircraft Company in 1975 and became a subsidiary of Hughes until its sale to Boeing in 2000. The company states its "NeXt Triple Junction" high efficiency solar cells have a minimum average efficiency of 29.5% to AIAA-2005-111 and AIAA-2005-112 requirements. In 2006 testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrated an efficiency of 40.7% using triple-junction solar cells developed by Spectrolab under concentration.In 2013, testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrated an efficiency of 38.7% without concentration, a new world record at the time of development.Spectrolab claims to have manufactured over 4 million space qualified multi-junction solar cells or solar panels to the industry as of 2013.Spectrolab has recently geared its highly efficient space solar cell technology for terrestrial purposes with great success using concentrators. Spectrolab's terrestrial products are the highest efficient solar cells currently available in the market. Wikipedia.

Cotal H.,Spectrolab | Frost J.,Spectrolab
Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference | Year: 2010

Information on the temperature of a packaged III-V multijunction solar cell mounted on a heat sink, operating under concentrated light is often not readily available. Availability of such information would facilitate the design of different receiver module configurations in a concentrating photovoltaic system (CPV). To this end, a heat transfer model is developed from finite difference techniques to predict the temperature from various parts of a concentrator cell assembly (CCA). The CCA consists of a solar cell mounted on a direct-bonded copper ceramic substrate with bypass diode. Temperatures of the solar cell with applied conformal coating are modeled as well as the temperature difference, ΔT, between the various layers within the CCA. Isotherm contour plots are generated for the cell under different conditions. It is found that the solar cell temperature in the CCA without conformal coating is 32 °C when illuminated at 50 W/cm2 with the CCA back surface temperature at 25 °C. When the CCA is bonded to a surface with thin bondline of a silicone-based thermal adhesive of 2 W/m K under the same intensity and back surface temperature, the cell rises to 37.3 °C. Further, the effects of the thermal adhesive thickness as well as the adhesive thermal conductivity on the solar cell temperature are examined. An effective thermal resistance of the CCA is determined to help in the design of a CPV system. The results from the model are validated against conservation of energy where the heat input from solar radiation on the solar cell is equal to the heat rate by conduction minus the converted electrical power of the cell. © 2010 IEEE. Source

Green M.A.,University of New South Wales | Keevers M.J.,University of New South Wales | Thomas I.,RayGen Resources Pty. Ltd. | Lasich J.B.,RayGen Resources Pty. Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications | Year: 2015

Increasing sunlight conversion efficiency is a key driver for on-going solar electricity cost reduction. For photovoltaic conversion, the approach most successful in increasing conversion efficiency is to split sunlight into spectral bands and direct each band to a dedicated solar cell of an appropriate energy bandgap to convert this band efficiently. In this work, we demonstrate conversion of sunlight to electricity in a solar collector with an efficiency value above 40% for the first time, using a small 287-cm2 aperture area test stand, notably equipped with commercial concentrator solar cells. We use optical band-pass filtering to capture energy that is normally wasted by commercial GaInP/GaInAs/Ge triple junction cells and convert this normally wasted energy using a separate Si cell with higher efficiency than physically possible in the original device. The 287-cm2 aperture area sunlight-concentrating converter demonstrating this independently confirmed efficiency is a prototype for a large photovoltaic power tower system, where sunlight is reflected from a field of sun-tracking heliostats to a dense photovoltaic array mounted on a central tower. In such systems, improved efficiency not only reduces costs by increasing energy output for a given investment in heliostats and towers but also reduces unwanted heat generation at the central tower. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Leite M.S.,California Institute of Technology | Woo R.L.,Spectrolab | Hong W.D.,Spectrolab | Law D.C.,Spectrolab | Atwater H.A.,California Institute of Technology
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2011

We have fabricated an In0.52Al0.48 As solar cell lattice-matched to InP with efficiency higher than 14% and maximum external quantum efficiency equal to 81%. High quality, dislocation-free In xAl1-x As alloyed layers were used to fabricate the single junction solar cell. Photoluminescence of InxAl1-x As showed good material quality and lifetime of over 200 ps. A high band gap In0.35 Al0.65 As window was used to increase light absorption within the p-n absorber layer and improve cell efficiency, despite strain. The InAlAs top cell reported here is a key building block for an InP-based three junction high efficiency solar cell consisting of InAlAs/InGaAsP/InGaAs lattice-matched to the substrate. © 2011 American Institute of Physics. Source

Friedman D.J.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | King R.R.,Spectrolab | Swanson R.M.,Sunpower Inc | McJannet J.,Institute for Energy Efficiency | Gwinner D.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics | Year: 2013

In this editorial, we report on the conclusions of a concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) industry group convened in July 2012 to develop pathways to large-scale CPV deployment, specifically targeting the installation of 100 GW of CPV in the United States by 2030. The group identified technical and financial barriers to this goal and developed a corresponding set of recommendations for overcoming these barriers. These recommendations focus on technical improvements at the system and cell levels and on activities needed to support the commercialization. © 2011-2012 IEEE. Source

Leite M.S.,California Institute of Technology | Leite M.S.,U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology | Leite M.S.,University of Maryland University College | Woo R.L.,Spectrolab | And 6 more authors.
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2013

An approach for an all lattice-matched multijunction solar cell optimized design is presented with 5.807 Å lattice constant, together with a detailed analysis of its performance by means of full device modeling. The simulations show that a (1.93 eV)In0.37Al0.63As/(1.39 eV)In0.38Ga0.62As0.57P0.43/(0.94 eV)In0.38Ga0.62As 3-junction solar cell can achieve efficiencies >51% under 100-suns illumination (with Voc = 3.34 V). As a key proof of concept, an equivalent 3-junction solar cell lattice-matched to InP was fabricated and tested. The independently connected single junction solar cells were also tested in a spectrum splitting configuration, showing similar performance to a monolithic tandem device, with Voc = 1.8 V. © 2013 American Institute of Physics. Source

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