When was the first solar panel invented | Solar panel wholesaler

When was the first solar panel invented

The evolution of solar panel technology was iterative, requiring inputs from a variety of scientists. Naturally, there is considerable controversy over when they were invented and who should receive credit for the innovation. The solar cell was invented by French scientist Edmond Becquerel, who discovered that when two metal electrodes were put in a conducting solution, light could boost electricity generation. This innovation, dubbed the “photovoltaic effect,” influenced subsequent advances in photovoltaic technology using the element selenium.

Willoughby Smith discovered in 1873 that selenium possessed photoconductive properties, which led to the 1876 discovery by William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day that selenium generates electricity when exposed to sunlight. Charles Fritts actually invented solar cells a few years later, in 1883, using selenium wafers — which is why some historians credit Fritts with the invention of solar cells.

Solar cells as we know them now, on the other hand, are constructed of silicon, not selenium. As a result, some believe that the genuine invention of solar panels occurred in 1954, when Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson invented the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at Bell Labs. Many claims that this is the genuine birth of photovoltaic technology, as it was the first instance of solar technology capable of powering electric equipment for several hours of the day. The first silicon solar cell converted sunlight at a rate of 4%, less than a fourth of the efficiency of modern cells.

Solar technology awareness and production

Albert Einstein was instrumental in bringing solar energy and its potential to the world’s notice. Einstein released a study on the photoelectric effect and the transmission of energy by light in 1905. This increased public awareness and acceptance of solar energy on a larger scale.

Bell Labs’ work in 1954 paved the way for the development of solar cells similar to those used in panels today. Three scientists there, Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson, developed a silicon-based solar cell that was more practical.

Silicon’s advantages include increased efficiency and widespread availability as a natural resource.

Solar panels were employed to power various components of spacecraft throughout the late 1950s and 1960s as the space era progressed. The first satellite was the Vanguard I in 1958, followed by the Vanguard II, Explorer III, and Sputnik-3 satellites.

NASA launched the Nimbus satellite in 1964. It was powered entirely by a 470-watt photovoltaic solar panel array. It would only be a matter of time until the potential of solar energy was transferred from outer space to homes and businesses on planet earth.

The future of solar panels

In recent years, solar power has seen rapid growth, as well as promising improvements in technology and price. Solar power is a huge, international industry with $141 billion invested in 2019. But that’s well short of the estimated $794 billion ($27 trillion by 2050) that the International Renewable Energy Agency says is needed annually for renewable energy.

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