The concept of harnessing the power of the sun is a familiar concept and one that has been around since humans have walked the Earth.
Who Invented Solar Panels?
As you will see in our infographic timeline below there were many notable inventors and scientists that made significant progress in the development of Solar Panels. Perhaps the most notable invention came as far back as 1839 from a 19-year-old Frenchman called Edmund Becquerel. He discovered what is called the photovoltaic effect, the underlying scientific process behind the solar cell, while experimenting with a couple of metal electrodes. His process was refined over the following decades by pioneering scientists, and in 1923 Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize for his theories explaining the photoelectric effect.
In the early 1950s the first uses were made of the photovoltaic cell, sometimes referred to as PV cells. These cells are produced from extremely thin wafers of silicon. These are the types of solar panels that you hear about most frequently these days.
Solar energy has come a very long way since 1958 when the first solar powered satellite was launched. With the recent advent of nanotechnologies, the efficiencies of the PV cell are now many times what they used to be. Now it takes far less roof space, and far less expense, to fully solar power an average home.
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