of photovoltaics discovered by French scientist Edmund Becquerel while observing
conductivity of metal electrodes when exposed to light.
and R.E. Day noticed the photovoltaic effect on solid selenium, and created
the first selenium solar cell.
Hertz noticed the photoelectric effect, and published his paper entitled
“On an Effect of Ultraviolet Light upon the Electric Discharge.” He noticed
that the spark created at a receiving electric circuit increased when ultraviolet
light hit the negative terminal.
Einstein published his revolutionary paper on the photoelectric effect,
explaining its behaviour. This also set the stage for the quantum theory
of light (involving photons). Both the photoelectric effect and the quantum
theory of light are important to solar cells.
layer in PV cells observed.
experiments proved photoelectric effect.
Trivich, Wayne State University, made the first theoretical calculations
of the efficiencies of various materials of different band gap widths based
on the spectrum of the sun.
cells with conversion efficiencies of 6% were first designed by RCA and
Bell Laboratories, with applications in aerospace.
Electronics sold their commercial PV cell with 2% efficiency for $25 each.
proposed increased efficiency by using multiple-layered cells.
satellite, Vanguard I (US), was launched, and operated for eight years.
|| One of
the earlier PV-powered homes was produced by University of Delaware.
|| NASA LeRC
used PV cells to power refrigerators, electric cars, lookout towers, water
coolers, highway signs and insect traps.
|| One of
the first PV-powered airplanes, Solar Challenger, flew.
|| In Australia,
a team led by Martin Green first produced silicon cells achieving 20% efficiency.
They used lasers to carve grooves in the cell surface, increasing performance.
|| Arco Solar
produced first thin-film PV cell.
|| In Germany,
the solar plane Icare flew, powered by some 3000 super-efficient PV cells.