Solar . . .
Solar cells of practical use have been
available since the mid 1950’s when AT&T labs first developed
silicon solar cells with efficiencies of 6%. By 1960 Hoffman
Electronics Semiconductor Division increased commercial solar
cell efficiencies to as much as 14%. The commercially available
solar cells today are about 18% efficient. That means that out
of the total energy that hits the surface of a solar cell, about
18% is converted into usable electricity.
The history solar power dates back as far as the 19th Century
when in 1839 the French physicist Edmond Becquerel first showed
a photovoltaic effect. PV is the abbreviation for photovoltaic.
The word Photovoltaic is formed from photo- which means light
and voltaic which means electrical current or electricity.
Edmond had found that certain materials would produce
electricity when exposed to light. 66 years later, in 1905, we
gained an understanding of Edmonds' work when the famous
physicist Albert Einstein clearly described the photoelectric
effect, the principle on which photovoltaics are based. In 1921
Einstein received the Nobel Prize for this work.
Solar Energy Solutions . . .