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16 January 2007


Spire receives NASA contract for thermo-photovoltaic cells

Spire Corp of Bedford, MA, USA has received a $600,000 contract from NASA's John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH to further develop a new type of thermo- photovoltaic (TPV) cell that produces electricity from heat.

TPV cells have potential applications for NASA to generate electricity from heat produced by radioisotope sources for long-duration space missions. Commercial applications of TPV cells include electricity generation using heat from combustion.

The work will be carried out in part at Spire's subsidiary Bandwidth Semiconductor LLC, a compound semiconductor foundry in Hudson, NH. Bandwidth already offers GaAs concentrator photovoltaic cells for converting solar
energy to electricity. The TPV cells use InGaAs. Bandwidth Semiconductor has over ten years experience providing similar TPV cells.