Go back slightly to 1883, when New York inventor Charles Fritts created the first solar cell by coating selenium with a thin layer of gold. Fritts reported that the selenium module produced a “continuous, constant and considerable force” current. This cell achieved an energy conversion rate of 1 to 2 percent. Most modern solar cells operate at an efficiency of 15 to 20 percent.
So Fritts created what was a low-impact solar cell, but still, it was the beginning of photovoltaic solar panel innovation in the United States. Named after the physicist, chemist and pioneer of Italian electricity and energy, Alessandro Volta, photovoltaic is the most technical term for converting light energy into electricity, and is used interchangeably with the term photoelectric. While solar energy has found a dynamic and established role in today's clean energy economy, there is a long history behind photovoltaics (PV) that brought the concept of solar energy to fruition. With the way the cost of solar energy has plummeted over the past decade, it's easy to forget that solar energy had a completely different meaning even just 15 years ago.
Let's go back a few centuries to the origins of solar photovoltaics and explore the history of solar energy and silicon solar technology. In theory, solar energy was used by humans as early as the 7th century a. C. When history tells us that humans used sunlight to light fires with magnifying glass materials.
Later, in the 3rd century B, C. These mirrors became a standard tool known as “burning mirrors”. Chinese civilization documented the use of mirrors for the same purpose later in 20 A, D. In the late 1700s and 1800s, researchers and scientists managed to use sunlight to power the ovens on long journeys.
They also harnessed the power of the sun to produce steamships powered by solar energy. Ultimately, it is clear that even thousands of years before the era of solar panels, the concept of manipulating the energy of the sun was a common practice. The development of solar panel technology was iterative and required a series of contributions from several scientists. Naturally, there is some debate about when exactly they were created and to whom credit should be attributed for the invention.
Some people attribute the invention of the solar cell to French scientist Edmond Becquerel, who determined that light could increase electricity generation when two metal electrodes were placed in a conductive solution. This advance, defined as the “photovoltaic effect”, influenced later photovoltaic developments with the element selenium. In 1873, Willoughby Smith discovered that selenium had photoconductive potential, leading to the discovery by William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day in 1876 that selenium creates electricity when exposed to sunlight. A few years later, in 1883, Charles Fritts produced the first solar cells made of selenium wafers, which is why some historians attribute to Fritts the actual invention of solar cells.
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From expensive but scientifically sound technology, solar energy benefits from ongoing government support to become the lowest-cost energy in history. The basics of solar energy are part of that discovery, as inventors and scientists lay the foundation for much of the later history of technology. Another early use of solar energy that is still popular today was the concept of “solariums” in buildings. While solar panel technology is relatively new, dating back about 50 years, the use of energy from the sun to maintain livelihoods began in fact several centuries ago.
Exxon Corporation funded the research that led to this milestone, and the resulting solar panel was more efficient and less expensive than its predecessors, enabling the commercial viability of solar technology and leading to a turning point in solar energy adoption. But over the next few decades, the federal government was more involved in solar energy research and development, creating subsidies and tax incentives for those who used solar systems. Investments in solar parks and farms (both small and mega) continue to be made worldwide. Installed its millionth solar installation; a feat that took more than 50 years to complete and expected to double in just two more years.
A useful feature of solar photovoltaic power generation is that any scale of installation is possible. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, solar technology was implemented in space, installed on satellites both in U. Then, the space and defense industries recognized its value, and at the end of the 20th century, solar energy emerged as a promising, but still costly, alternative to fossil fuels. Before Bell Labs invented the first modern solar panels in 1954, the history of solar energy was a story of start-ups, driven by individual inventors and scientists.
Solar energy has gained substantial momentum in the United States, with installations in every state growing day by day and hundreds of thousands of people employed in the industry. . .