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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, 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.[1] 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.[citation needed]

In 2013, testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrated an efficiency of 38.7% without concentration, a new world record at the time.[2]

Spectrolab claims to have manufactured over 4 million space qualified multi-junction solar cells or solar panels to the industry as of 2013[citation needed].

Spectrolab has recently geared its highly efficient space solar cell technology for terrestrial purposes with great success[citation needed] using concentrators. Spectrolab's terrestrial concentrating cell boasts greater than 30% AM1.5D min. avg. efficiency from 200 to 400 Suns concentration in production.[3]

Solar Cells[edit]

The company's ultra triple junction solar cells use exotic materials like germanium, InGaP2, and gallium arsenide to achieve their efficiency.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Datasheet: 29.9% NeXt Triple Junction (XTJ) Solar Cells (Wayback machine)" (PDF). Spectrolab. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-21.
  2. ^ "Spectrolab beats its own solar cell efficiency world record". New Atlas. 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  3. ^ "Triple-Junction Terrestrial Concentrator Solar Cells" (PDF). Spectrolab.

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