Pioneering Environmental Technologies
Alternative Energy Solutions
Photo: Boeing Photo
Solutions for reducing the Earth's dependence on fossil fuels are already in use in space.
Using the technology that powers satellites, Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab produces solar cells that can convert more than 40 percent of sunlight into electricity for use on Earth. Boeing also is demonstrating advanced aerospace and computing technology to help government customers and public utilities make electrical grids more secure and efficient, bring down energy costs and reduce waste.
In addition, we are researching innovative uses of fuel cells — which convert hydrogen into energy and water with zero emissions — for applications in aerospace and beyond. For example, Boeing fuel cells lit up the red carpet at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif.
Spectrolab, the world's leading manufacturer of solar cells and panels, powers everything from satellites to renewable solar energy projects in the desert regions of Arizona, Nevada, California and Australia. Spectrolab, which has manufactured space products for more than 50 years, recently produced its three millionth space-based solar cell.
Spectrolab's terrestrial "multijunction" cells are the result of over 50 years of leadership in space power, and have been optimized for maximum performance under desert sunlight. Spectrolab production solar cells convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than any silicon solar cell. In March 2011, Spectrolab began manufacturing its fourth generation multijunction solar cell (the C4MJ cell), which converts 40 percent of sunlight into electricity.
Photo: Boeing Photo
Boeing Energy — part of Boeing Defense, Space & Security — is increasing the efficiency and security of local, regional and national energy systems.
Applying advanced technologies to improve the environmental footprint and energy needs of government facilities, Boeing Energy provides solutions for military installations implementing "net zero" and other U.S. Department of Defense energy-security programs.
Boeing Energy offers a comprehensive set of services that enable military commanders to meet their requirements and improve efficiency, self-sufficiency and security of their base energy systems.
Employing advanced cyber security technology for the smart grid of the future, Boeing Energy also develops solutions for commercial utility customers concerned about nontraditional threats to the integrity of their electrical grids. Boeing Energy's technologies are designed to defend the electrical grid from hostile attacks, hackers or other potential operational shocks.
Boeing Energy has been awarded several U.S. Department of Energy grants to help develop U.S.-based smart grid technologies and systems, including
- A 2010 grant by the department's National Energy Technology Laboratory to develop core technologies for the U.S. power grid of the future.
- Grants to work with public utilities to demonstrate Boeing's smart grid technologies.
Boeing has teamed with KEMA, a global authority in strategic and technical energy consulting, to collaborate on the development of smart grid technologies and other opportunities related to secure, reliable and sustainable energy infrastructure. We are a member of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, an interdisciplinary joint research effort between the University of Colorado at Boulder and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewal Energy Laboratory. Boeing is leading the institute's efforts to develop solutions for creating a national smart grid that modernizes energy distribution and use.
Boeing technological advancements in solar cells, fuel cells, energy storage and environmentally progressive energy systems promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve resources.