The chaotic history of photovoltaics

The chaotic history of photovoltaics

Long before the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, which sparked environmental awareness and support for conservation, scientists were making the first discoveries in the field of solar energy.

It all started with Edmond Becquerel, a young physicist working in France. It was he who in 1839 observed and discovered the photovoltaic effect. The process by which voltage or electric current is produced under the influence of light or radiant energy.

A few decades later, French mathematician Augustin Mouchot was inspired by the work of this physicist. The chaotic history of photovoltaics.

He began registering patents for solar-powered engines in the 1860s. From France to the United States, inventors have been inspired by the mathematician’s patents. As early as 1888, they applied for a patent for solar-powered devices.

Thanks to its expensive but scientifically sound technology, solar energy benefits from continued government support, becoming the cheapest energy ever. Its success follows an S-curve, where the initial development of the technology is slow and driven solely by early adopters. Then we have exponential growth, as economies of scale allow production costs to fall and supply chains to expand.

Solar modules cost as much as $106 per watt in 1976. (In 2019 dollars). To 2019 r. Have fallen to as low as $0.38 per watt! With 89% of this decline occurring since 2010

Although the world’s first official photovoltaic cell was created by Frenchman Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839, the concept was not adopted in the US until 1954, when Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting solar energy into electricity. How was the first solar panel developed? The first object called a solar panel, made in 1883 by New York inventor Charles Fritts, was created by coating selenium, a mineral found in the soil, with gold.

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Lighthief is innovation, technology and science in the service of recycling photovoltaic panels and wind farms. The company's topics of interest touch on recovery and recycling in the broadest sense, mainly in the field of RES, or renewable energy sources.


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