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Friday, February 17, 2006

New Spire Solar (SPIR) cells convert sun's heat into electricity!!!

Spire to Develop Advanced Thermophotovoltaic Cells; TPV Cells Produce Electricity from Heat

Press Release from Spire Corporation

February 13, 2006

Bedford, MA - February 13, 2006 Spire Corporation (Nasdaq: SPIR) today announced that has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop a new type of thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power cell that produces electricity from heat. The cells are similar to solar cells that convert visible photons to electricity, but the semiconductor material is adjusted to convert long-wavelength or thermal photons to electricity. The grant is from NASA's John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The project has potential applications for NASA, to generate electricity from heat generated by long-life radioisotope sources for long duration space missions where the power generated by conventional solar cells is limited due to the large distance from the sun. Commercial applications of TPV cells include electricity co-generation using heat from wood or propane combustion.

Bandwidth Semiconductor LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spire, will develop indium-gallium-arsenide-based thermophotovoltaic cells optimized for both high temperature operation as well as for radiation hardness. Bandwidth Semiconductor, a compound semiconductor foundry specializing in wafer epitaxy and device processing, is a leader in the field of thermophotovoltaics. Bandwidth Semiconductor has over ten years experience providing TPV cells to government customers for special applications.

Roger Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire, said, "With this grant, we will leverage our expertise in solar cells, compound semiconductor epitaxy and device processing to grow nanostructures that can efficiently convert heat to electricity for energy generation both on earth and in space."


Spire Corporation is a diversified technology company providing innovative solar energy manufacturing equipment, biomedical devices and optoelectronic components, all based upon a common technology platform. For more information visit

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