Business & Finance
News
12/6/2006
02:55 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Major Solar Cell Breakthrough Announced

The Department of Energy says Boeing-Spectrolab has created a solar cell with 40.7% sunlight-to-energy conversion efficiency.

A breakthrough in solar cell technology promises to make solar power a cost-competitive energy option and to reduce U.S. dependence on oil.

With funding from the Department of Energy, Boeing-Spectrolab has managed to create a solar cell with 40.7% sunlight-to-energy conversion efficiency, said DoE assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Alexander Karsner on Tuesday.

The solar cell represents "the highest efficiency level any photovoltaic device has ever achieved," according to David Lillington, president of Spectrolab. That claim has been verified by the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

Most of today's solar cells are between 12% and 18% efficient. Some of the ones used to power satellites are around 28% efficient. In 1954, 4% efficiency was state of the art.

High energy prices and environmental concerns are prompting businesses to consider solar power. In October, Google said it planned to install 9,200 solar photovoltaic panels at its Mountain View headquarters in 2007. Google's solar panels, made by Sharp, are 12.8% efficient. It expects to generate 30% of its peak energy usage during the summer from solar power.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.