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Tour of Boeing's Spectrolab Factory

Spectrolab's facility in Sylmar California

Spectrolab’s facility in Sylmar California

Howard Chambers, Vice President and General Manager Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems

Howard Chambers, Vice President and General Manager Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems

Dr. David Lillington, President of Spectrolab, Inc.

Dr. David Lillington, President of Spectrolab, Inc.

Wafers are the raw materials for solar cells. Here we see a Germanium wafer.

Wafers are the raw materials for solar cells. Here we see a Germanium wafer.

The small concentrator-based cell on the right can produce about five times the power of the much larger silicon cell on the left. Mirrors and lenses focus sunlight onto the concentrated cell.

The small concentrator-based cell on the right can produce about five times the power of the much larger silicon cell on the left. Mirrors and lenses focus sunlight onto the concentrated cell.

The silicon solar cell is 154 square centimeters and produces about 2.3 watts.

The silicon solar cell is 154 square centimeters and produces about 2.3 watts.

The Gallium Arsenide/Germanium cell is just 1 square centimeter and can produce 16.1 watts.

The Gallium Arsenide/Germanium cell is just 1 square centimeter and can produce 16.1 watts.

Spectrolab says its multi-junction cells are much more efficient than tradition silicon cells. Traditional cells are single layer, but multi-junction cells stack several layers of cells into a single package.

Spectrolab says its multi-junction cells are much more efficient than tradition silicon cells. Traditional cells are single layer, but multi-junction cells stack several layers of cells into a single package.

A concentrated solar cell package

A concentrated solar cell package

Department of Energy statistics say America spends $692,414 on electricity every minute. Average cost of all electricity is just under ten cents a kilowatt/hour.

Department of Energy statistics say America spends $692,414 on electricity every minute. Average cost of all electricity is just under ten cents a kilowatt/hour.

A chalkboard-sized panel typically used on satellites. It can produce about 2500 watts and DIRECTTV satellites use 12 of these panels.

A chalkboard-sized panel typically used on satellites. It can produce about 2500 watts and DIRECTTV satellites use 12 of these panels.