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Feature Story

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Larger Solar Cells, Modernized Factory



A machine grabs a solar cell wafer. The new class 1000 clean room requires the use of full bunny suits, gloves, glasses and face masks.

Since becoming part of Boeing in 2000, Spectrolab, the world’s leading manufacturer of space solar cells and solar panels to the space industry, has grown, and not just the business itself. It has won numerous awards, even setting a world record for the first solar cell to convert 41.6 percent of concentrated sunlight into electricity, and now they have created a new, larger solar cell wafer.

The new solar cell wafer is 50 millimeters larger than the previous version, allowing for more than three times more cells from each wafer, and reducing the cost for customers.



The factory expansion re purposed floor space previously used for photovoltaic solar cells.

To accommodate for the larger solar cell wafers, Spectrolab modernized its factory to create a new 150 millimeter solar cell wafer line. The modernization also includes a new clean room facility and material handling equipment.