Spectrolab Produces Higher Efficiency Space Solar Cell
Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab has begun manufacturing a higher-efficiency space solar cell providing new opportunities for the aerospace industry to develop lighter and less expensive spacecraft.
The new solar cell, known as XTJ Prime, has achieved an energy efficiency of 30.7%, which is higher than any other comparable model currently available.
Solar cell efficiency refers to how much sunlight a cell can convert into usable energy. First delivery of the higher efficiency XTJ Prime cells is expected later this year.
“As space has become more accessible to private companies and countries, competition to provide the highest-powered spacecraft at the lowest cost has intensified,” said Tony Mueller, president of Spectrolab, during a celebration of Spectrolab’s 60th anniversary.
“The increased efficiency of the XTJ Prime solar cell drives a lower-dollar- per-watt solution, meaning spacecraft using this new cell will be lighter and less expensive to build and launch, and more powerful once in space.”
Spectrolab, the leading provider of space solar cells and solar panels, provides products to the commercial satellite industry, the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and domestic and global aerospace companies.
Earlier this year, Spectrolab’s space solar cells helped set a new record as NASA’s interplanetary probe, Juno, traveled farther from the sun than any other solar-powered spacecraft, reaching more than 517 million miles on its way to Jupiter.
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