This question seems to be on the minds of everyone that we meet so we thought we would provide you with some key facts.
- Solar PV (photovoltaic) was first discovered in 1839 by French scientist Edmond Becquerel. Over the next 100 years, there were other discoveries and inventions, including several discoveries by Albert Einstein, who received a Nobel Prize for his theories on the photovoltaic effect in 1921.
- In 1954, Daryle Chapin, Gerald Pearson and Calvin Fuller were born in the US when the first silicon photovoltaic cell was developed (i.e. the precursor of all silicon cells today).
- In 1955, Western Electric began to sell commercial licenses for silicon photovoltaic technologies. Early products included the PV-powered dollar bill changer and devices that decoded computer punch cards and tapes.
- The big jump happened in 1958 when the Vanguard 1 weather space satellite was launched. The vanguard used solar power to power radios and other equipment during the one year orbit of this satellite. After that, the space age relied on solar power on most space vehicles (i.e. Lunar Lander, Mars Viking Mission, Hubble Telescope, Space Shuttle, etc.).
- Over the next 50 years, solar power technology continued to develop. Photovoltaic research and development discovered new material, cell designs and novel approaches to solar material and product development.
The real questions are:
- Can we we make solar photovoltaic more efficient?
- Can we convert sun light into electricity and can this be done economically?
Yes, it is becoming more and more efficient and yes, it is becoming more economical to use. Call or send me an email if you would like to discuss further.