Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Timeline Of Solar Cells

Timeline Of Solar Cells
Feb 12, 2011 in Renewable Energy



US685957 : Rays falling on insulated conductor connected to a capacitor; the capacitor charges electrically


1839 – Alexandre Edmond Becquerel observes the photovoltaic look via an electrode in a conductive solution exposed to light.

1873 – Willoughby Smith finds that selenium shows photoconductivity.

1877 – W.G. Adams and R.E. Day observed the photovoltaic look in solidified selenium, and published a paper on the selenium cell. ‘The action of light on selenium,’ in “Proceedings of the Royal Society, A25, 113.

1883 – Charles Fritts develops a solar cell using selenium on a thin layer of gold to form a device giving less than 1% efficiency.

1887 – Heinrich Hertz investigates ultraviolet light photoconductivity and discovers photoelectric look

1887 – James Moser reports dye sensitised photoelectrochemical cell.

1888 – Edward Weston receives patent US389124, “Solar cell”, and US389125, “Solar cell”.

1888-91 – Aleksandr Stoletov makes the first solar cell based on the outer photoelectric look

1894 – Melvin Severy receives patent US527377, “Solar cell”, and US527379, “Solar cell”.

1897 – Harry Reagan receives patent US588177, “Solar cell”..


1901 – Nikola Tesla receives the patent US685957, “Apparatus for the Utilization of Radiant Energy”, and US685958, “Method of Utilizing of Radiant Energy”.

1902 – Philipp von Lenard observes the variation in electron energy with light frequency.

1904 – Albert Einstein publishes a paper on the photoelectric look. Wilhelm Hallwachs makes a semiconductor-junction solar cell (copper and copper oxide).

1913 – William Coblentz receives US1077219, “Solar cell”.

1914 – Sven Ason Berglund patents “methods of increasing the capacity of photosensitive cells”.

1916 – Robert Millikan conducts experiments and proves the photoelectric look.

1918 – Jan Czochralski, a Polish scientist, produces a method to grow single crystals of metal. Decades later, the method is adapted to yield single-crystal silicon.

1920s – Solar water-heating systems, utilizing “flat collectors” (or “flat-plate collectors”), relied upon in homes and apartment buildings in Florida and southern California.


1932 – Audobert and Stora learn the photovoltaic look in Cadmium selenide (CdSe), a photovoltaic material still used today.

1946 – Russell Ohl receives patent US2402662, “Light sensitive device”.

1948 – Gordon Teal and John Small adapt the Czochralski method of crystal growth to yield single-crystalline germanium and, later, silicon.

1950s – Bell Labs yield solar cells for space activities.

1953 – Gerald Pearson starts research into lithium-silicon photovoltaic cells.

1954 – Bell Labs announces the invention of the first modern silicon solar cell. Shortly afterwards, they are shown at the National Academy of Science Assembly. These cells have about 6% efficiency. The New York Times forecasts that solar cells will eventually lead to a source of “limitless energy of the sun”.

1955 – Western Electric licences commercial solar cell technologies. Hoffman Electronics-Semiconductor Division makes a 2% efficient commercial solar cell for /cell or ,785/Watt.

1957 – AT&T assignors (Gerald L. Pearson, Daryl M. Chapin, and Calvin S. Fuller) receive patent US2780765, “Solar Energy Converting Apparatus”. They refer to it as the “solar battery”. Hoffman Electronics makes an 8% efficient solar cell.

1958 – T. Mandelkorn, U.S. Signal Corps Laboratories, makes n-on-p silicon solar cells, which are more strong to radiation hurt and are surpass suited for space. Hoffman Electronics makes 9% efficient solar cells. Vanguard I, the first solar powered satellite, was launched with a 0.1W, 100 cm solar panel.

1959 – Hoffman Electronics makes a 10% efficient commercial solar cell, and introduces the use of a grid friend, reducing the cell’s resistance.


1960 – Hoffman Electronics makes a 14% efficient solar cell.

1961 – “Solar Energy in the Developing World” conference is held by the United Nations.

1962 – The Telstar communications satellite is powered by solar cells.

1963 – Sharp Corporation produces a viable photovoltaic module of silicon solar cells.

1964 – Farrington Daniels’ landmark book, Direct Use of the Sun’s Energy, published by Yale Academe Press.

1967 – Soyuz 1 is the first manned spacecraft to be powered by solar cells

1967 – Akira Fujishima discovers the Honda-Fujishima look which is used for hydrolysis in the photoelectrochemical cell.

1970 – First highly effective GaAs heterostructure solar cells are made by Zhores Alferov and his team in the USSR.

1971 – Salyut 1 is powered by solar cells.

1973 – Skylab is powered by solar cells.

1974 – Florida Solar Energy Center starts .

1974 – Dr. Joseph Lindmayer and Dr. Peter Varadi founded the Solarex Corporation first BI-PV Solar Factory Roof

1974 – J. Baldwin, at Integrated Living Systems, co-develops the world’s first building (in New Mexico) heated and otherwise powered by solar and wind power exclusively.

1976 – David Carlson and Christopher Wronski of RCA Laboratories make first amorphous silicon PV cells, which have an efficiency of 1.1%.

1977 – The Solar Energy Research Institute is established at Golden, Colorado.

1977 – President Jimmy Carter installs solar panels on the White House and promotes incentives for solar energy systems.

1977 – The world manufacture of photovoltaic cells exceeded 500 kW

Late 1970s: the “Energy Crisis”; groundswell of public appeal in solar energy use: photovoltaic and active and passive solar, including in architecture and off-grid buildings and home sites.


1980 – The Institute of Energy Conversion at Academe of Delaware develops the first thin-film solar cell exceeding 10% efficiency using Cu2S/CdS technology.

1982 – Spherical solar cell was developed.

1983 – Worldwide photovoltaic manufacture exceeds 21.3 megawatts, and sales exceed 0 million.

1984 – 30,000 SF Building-Integrated Photovoltaic [BI-PV] Roof completed for the Intercultural Center of Georgetown Academe. At the time of the 20th Anniversary Journey by Horseback for Peace and Photovoltais in 2004 it was still generating an average of one MWh daily as it has for twenty years in the dense urban environment of Washington, DC.

1984 – Amoco Oil pulled factory loan to takeover of Solarex Corporation factory in Frederick, Maryland.

1985 – 20% efficient silicon cells are made by the Centre for Photovoltaic Engineering at the Academe of New South Wales.

1986 – ‘Solar-Voltaic DomeTM’ patented by Lt. Colonel Richard T. Headrick of Irvine, CA as an efficient architectural configuration for building-integrated photovoltaics [BI-PV]; Hesperia, CA field array.

1988-1991 AMOCO/Enron used Solarex patents to sue ARCO Solar out of the business of a-Si (see Solarex Corp.(Enron/Amoco)v.Arco Solar, Inc.Ddel, 805 Fsupp 252 Fed Digest. )

1989 – Reflective solar concentrators are first used with solar cells.

1990 – The Cathedral of Magdeburg installs solar cells on the roof, marking the first installation on a church in East Germany.

1991 – Efficient Photoelectrochemical cells are developed; the Dye-sensitized solar cell is invented.

1991 – President George H. W. Bush directs the U.S. Department of Energy to establish the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (transferring the existing Solar Energy Research Institute).

1992 – SOLAR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIVE founded by Eileen M. Smith, M.Arch. to assure timely mainstream deployment of quality BI-PV Solar Architecture supported by reliable service industry in the U.S. and global marketplace.

1992 – Academe of South Florida fabricates a 15.89-percent efficient thin-film cell

1993 – The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Energy Research Facility is established.

1994 – NREL develops a GaInP/GaAs two-terminal concentrator cell (180 suns) which becomes the first solar cell to exceed 30% conversion efficiency.

1996 – The National Center for Photovoltaics is established. Graetzel, cole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland achieves 11% efficient energy conversion with dye-sensitized cells that use a photoelectrochemical look.

1998 – Dignified and September Academe of New South Wales made premiere offering of on-line ‘Advanced Photovoltaics Small Course’

1998 – Historic Joint Outfit Rulemaking into the Role of the Utility Distribution Company [UDC] in Distributed Generation [DG] before the California Public Utilities Commission 98-12-015 and 99-10-025; California Energy Commission 99-DIST-GEN(1) and 99-DIST-GEN(2); California Oversight Board 99-1-A-DG

1999 – Total worldwide installed photovoltaic power reached 1000 megawatts.



President George W. Bush installed a 9 kW ‘building-integrated photovoltaics’ panel on the roof of a grounds maintenance building at the White House for the National Parks Service. Also installed were two solar water heating systems.


March – California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed Solar Roofs Initiative for one million solar roofs in California by 2017.

June 1 – Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius issued a mandate for 1,000 MWp renewable electricity in Kansas by 2015 per Executive Order 04-05.


Polysilicon use in photovoltaics exceeds all other polysilicon use for the first time.

January 12 – California Public Utilities Commission approved the California Solar Initiative (CSI), a comprehensive .8 billion program that provides incentives toward solar development over 11 years.

December 5 – New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology – New Solar Cell Breaks the 40 Percent Efficient Sunlight-to-Electricity Barrier.


Investors start offering free installation in return for a long term Power Buy Agreement (PPA).[citation needed]

April 23 – Start of construction of Nellis Solar Power Sow, a 15 MW PPA installation. 5 MW started operation on October 12, and the final third was completed in December.

May – The Vatican announced that in order to conserve Earth’s resources they would be installing solar panels on some buildings, in “a comprehensive energy project that will pay for itself in a few years”.

June 18 – Google solar panel project starts operation .

July 30 – Academe of Delaware claims to achieve new world record in Solar Cell Technology without independent confirmation – 42.8% efficiency.

December 18 – Nanosolar ships the first commercial printed CIGS, claiming that they will eventually ship for less than /Watt. But, the company does not publicly tell the technical specifications or contemporary selling price of the modules.


Photovoltaic World manufacture, 1980-2007 (log scale). The line shows the best-fit exponential to the manufacture for the most recent 10 years, indicating a doubling of manufacture every 2 years. Units are peak MW. Image by Geoffrey A. Landis

Dignified 13 – New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Efficiency: Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into electricity. The inverted metamorphic triple-junction solar cell was designed, fabricated and non-centrally measured at NREL.

See also

Energy development

List of energy topics

List of solar energy topics

PV financial incentives

Timeline of equipment technology


^ Perreault, Bruce A.. “Nikola Tesla’s Radiant Energy system”. http://www.nuenergy.org/alt/tesla_energy.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-16.

^ David C. Brock (Spring 2006). “Useless No More: Gordon K. Teal, Germanium, and Single-Crystal Transistors”. Chemical Heritage Newsmagazine (Chemical Heritage Foundation) 24 (1). http://www.chemheritage.org/pubs/ch-v24n1-articles/haw_germanium.html. Retrieved 2008-01-21.

^ D. M. Chapin, C. S. Fuller, and G. L. Pearson (May 1954). “A New Silicon p-n Junction Photocell for Converting Solar Radiation into Electrical Power”. Journal of Applied Physics 25 (5): 676677. doi:10.1063/1.1721711.

^ Alferov, Zh. I., V. M. Andreev, M. B. Kagan, I. I. Protasov, and V. G. Trofim, 1970, olar-energy converters based on p-n AlxGa12xAs-GaAs heterojunctions, Fiz. Tekh. Poluprovodn. 4, 2378 (Sov. Phys. Semicond. 4, 2047 (1971))]

^ Nanotechnology in energy applications, pdf, p.24

^ Nobel Lecture by Zhores Alferov, pdf, p.6

^ http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/

^ http://www.nytimes.com/ads/peoplesoft/article9.html

^ ElectriCity BEYOND THE CURVE OF DEREGULATION written by Eileen M. Smith, M.Arch. 2005

^ White House installs solar-electric system

^ http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/static/energy/solar/

^ United States Department of Energy (December 5, 2006). “New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology”. Press release. http://www.energy.gov/news/4503.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-16.

^ Krauss, Leah (May 31, 2007). “Solar World: Vatican installs solar panels”. United Press International. http://www.upi.com/Energy/Analysis/2007/05/31/solar_world_vatican_installs_solar_panels/3090/. Retrieved 2008-01-16.

^ http://www.google.com/corporate/solarpanels/home

^ “From 40.7 to 42.8 % Solar Cell Efficiency”. July 30, 2007. http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/tale?id=49483. Retrieved 2008-01-16.

^ “Nanosolar Ships First Panels”. Nanosolar Blog. http://www.nanosolar.com/blog3/2007/12/18/nanosolar-ships-first-panels/. Retrieved 2008-01-22.

^ “Nanosolar – Products”. Nanosolar.com. http://www.nanosolar.com/products.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-22.

^ NREL Public Relations (2008-08-13). “NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent”. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Read more (in new window) at: www.nrel.gov/news/press/2008/625.html Retrieved 2008-09-29.

External links

“Solar Resources”. SunPower Corporation, 2004.

“History: Photovoltaics Timeline”. About, Inc., 2005.

“Bell Labs Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Solar Cell – Timeline “. Lucent Technologies, 2004.

Lenardic, Denis, “History of photovoltaics”. PVResources.com, 2005.

Perlin, John, “Making Electricity Directly from Sunlight”. Rahus Institute, 2002.

Massey, David, “Bell Labs – The Solar Battery (Photovoltaics)”. 2005.

Trinkaus, George, “The Lost Inventions of Nikola Tesla”. Free Energy Receiver, Chapter 9.

“Solar Energy Timeline “, Charles E. Brown Middle School.

“Centre for Photovolatic Engineering Timeline”. Academe of New South Wales

History of Photovoltaics

Firm ups solar cell forecast for 2006, 2007

Categories: Solar energy | Technology timelinesHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from May 2008 | Articles lacking in-text citations from February 2008 | All articles lacking in-text citations

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