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The History of Solar PV

The History of Solar PV

Solar energy has been used in a variety of ways since the seventh century BC. The sun's rays were amplified to create fire. Greeks and Romans used "burning mirrors" to light torches for religious purposes. By the sixth century A.D., sunrooms were becoming more and more common on houses. The Justinian Code established "sun rights" to ensure that everyone has access to light.

The early uses of solar energy were for heat generation and passive solar design. This addressed everything, from where to set your doors and windows to warming items that hold their heat all night. This was carried out to determine which constructions produced the greatest heat.

The 18th Century – Solar Cells

The first "solar collector cell" was invented in 1767. The discovery was discovered by Swiss scientist Horace-Benedict de Saussure. He constructed an insulated box with an entrance and three layers of glass. This glass was used in a variety of applications, amplifying the sun's heat to levels beyond 230 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 19th Century – Photovoltaic Effect

1839 was the discovery of the photovoltaic effect. French scientist Edmund Bacquerel, age 19, working at his father's lab. the electrolytic cell was found. Charles Fritts later used this by applying a tiny film of gold to the semiconductor selenium. first solid-state photovoltaic cell construction.

Aleksandr Stoletov, a Russian physicist, in 1888. On the basis of the outer photoelectric effect, he constructed the first photoelectric cell. Heinrich Hertz was the first to notice the effect in 1887. The photoelectric effect occurs when light energy is absorbed by solids, liquids, or gases. As a result, the solar heater unit was developed in 1891.

The 20th Century – Pushing Forward

Albert Einstein described this photoelectric effect and the underlying ideas of light-initiated carrier excitation in a paper from 1905. In 1921, he received the physics Nobel Prize. William J. Bailey produced The Copper Collector in 1908, maybe in response to Einstein's theory. The collector improved the performance of the initial collection method by only using copper insulation. The 1946 patent for the modern junction semiconductor solar cell was obtained by Russell Ohl.

The first newspaper reports on global warming started appearing in 1953. This set an awareness among the public. A year later the first practical solar cell was developed in 1954 by Bell Laboratorie’s Calvin Souther Fuller, Daryl Chaplin, and Gerald Pearson. A few years after this, the U.S. Signal Corps Laboratories started creating photovoltaic cells for Earth-orbiting satellites. The solar array for the Vanguard 1 space mission was the end outcome.

A company called Hoffman Electronics, was able to increase productivity to 14%. Due to improvements, there were various attempts to commercialise solar photovoltaics in the 1950s and 1960s.

By the year 1980, ARCO Solar had built solar panel manufacturing facilities that could yearly produce photovoltaic modules with a capacity of more than 1 megawatt. The business helped build the first megawatt-scale power plant in Hisperia, California. In order to produce heat, Solar One produced a current of 10 megawatts by focusing solar energy onto a single focal point. by The University of South Wales had increased the efficiency of silicone solar cells to 20%.

In 1994, the American National Renewable Energy Laboratory invented the solar cell. The cell was built using gallium arsenide and gallium indium phosphide. It is more efficient than the required 30 percent, which means that 30 percent of the solar energy that strikes it is transformed into usable power.

21st Century – Modern Times

The greatest solar panel installation at a factory might provide 100 megawatts of electricity annually by the year 2000. Worldwide, the solar energy market had developed into a thriving one for retailers and producers. More and more individuals across the world were realising the need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

Large-scale initiatives to use solar energy for residences and companies were under way at the turn of the century. The solar PV business had seen significant success for Germany and other countries. The United Kingdom alone has now seen over 1 million solar power installations as of the end of 2020. 

In the UK, 4 million households will be totally solar powered in the next eight years. But the UK is still not making full use of its solar energy potential.

Businesses may manage risk, safeguard their long-term commercial viability. Getting ahead of tougher regulation, greater energy bills, and rising carbon levies will become more and more crucial in 2022.

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