Tuesday, June 25, 2024

First silicon photo voltaic cell celebrates seventieth birthday – pv journal International


On April 25, 1954, US researchers offered the primary prototype of a practical photo voltaic module. The effectiveness at the moment was round 6%. Loads has occurred since then.

From pv journal Germany

Exactly 70 years in the past at present, scientists at Bell Labs within the US state of New Jersey offered the primary sensible “photo voltaic battery” to the general public. the New York Times reported on the time that “this invention could mark the start of a brand new period – the usage of just about limitless photo voltaic power for human civilization.”

However, it took a number of a long time for this imaginative and prescient to grow to be tangible. Global PV growth has solely actually gained momentum within the final 10 years. While 1 GW of PV energy was put in worldwide all through 2004, in 2010 it was at 1 GW per thirty days. Five years later, the set up reached 1 GW per week and most not too long ago, about 1 GW per day, in response to Carsten Pfeiffer, head of technique on the Bundesverband Neue Energiewirtschaft affiliation in Germany, in a current or Twitter thread. “We will in all probability see an annual improve of 1 TW inside this decade,” he stated.

US scientists Daryl Chapin, Gerald Pearson and Calvin Fuller initially solely had the duty of making a dependable supply of power for distant phone techniques the place typical batteries had been ineffective. Solar cells constructed from the semiconductor materials selenium have been developed, however their effectivity is just too low for sensible functions.

The systematic, months-long growth of a silicon photo voltaic cell produced the working prototype for the primary practical photo voltaic module, which was offered on April 25, 1954. The effectivity on the time was solely 6%. It initially elevated slowly over the next a long time. Only over the past 20 years, as a result of industrialization of PV manufacturing and the acceleration of technical progress, it has elevated to round 25%, which is near the bodily restrict established for silicon photo voltaic cells.

Even at present, Bell Labs – which was once a part of AT&T and now operates below Nokia Bell Labs – calls the “photo voltaic cell” one in every of its “best improvements.” The three scientists had been posthumously honored for his or her invention in 2008 by being inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame.

In 2004, the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) revealed an article celebrating the cell’s fiftieth birthday.

Author: Thomas Seltmann

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