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Who Invented Solar Panels? (Solar History)

It is well known that solar panels are good for the environment and are a sustainable source of energy. These awesome devices are becoming more prevalent every year and are impacting society in a big way.

With such a huge impact one may be wondering how these panels where invented in the first place and by whom? In this article we’ll tackle this question and explain the history of solar panels in depth.


Solar Panel History

Solar panel technology has evolved a lot over the years and actually first started in the 1800’s. A french physicist, Antoine Cesar Becquerel, is the one who is credited for discovering the photovoltaic effect in 1839. Becquerel did this by experimenting with a solid electrode that he dipped in a conductive solution. He then exposed it to light which created an electrical current.

While the discovery was a pivotal step for solar technology, photovoltaic power continued to be very inefficient and solar cells were used mainly for the purposes of measuring light.

It wasn’t until over a century later that Russel Ohl used this principal to invent the first solar cell. Ohl created a silicon based cell in 1941 that had an energy conversion rate of 1%.

A few years later in 1954, three American researchers Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Daryl Chapin were able to create a solar panel that had energy conversion rate of 6%. This was a huge step for solar as it was the first practical solar photovoltaic panel ever created.


Solar Timeline

As we mentioned above solar technology has been around for many years and has evolved tremendously within this time. Our good friends at TheEcoExperts.co.uk have created a great infographic to help us visually see the major milestones in solar. Go take at look at this infographic below and don’t be afraid to visit their website!

The History Of Solar Energy [Infographic]
The Eco Experts – Solar Panel Specialists


For a the full evolution of solar please visit Wikipedia – Timeline Of Solar Cells

Other Resources:

* The Different Types Of Solar Panels

* Best Solar Panels Reviewed

* What Kind Of Maintenance Do Solar Panels Require?