From the late 19th century to the early 20th century: the discovery of the thermoelectric effect
In 1839, the French physicist Becquerel first discovered the photoelectric effect, which means that a metal surface generates an electric current when exposed to sunlight. In 1876, American scientist Wilmot discovered the thermoelectric effect, which means that electric current can be generated at the junction of two metals at different temperatures. These two discoveries provide the basis for the development of solar panels.
The Development of Silicon Transistors from the 1930s to the 1950s
In the early 1930s, American physicist Pierce invented the transistor, laying the foundation for the development of solar panels. In the 1950s, scientists at Bell Laboratories began using silicon crystals to make solar panels.
1960s to 1970s: Commercial application of solar panels
In the 1960s, NASA began using solar panels to power spacecraft. Subsequently, solar panels have gradually been applied to the supply of electricity on the ground, becoming an important source of clean energy.
1980s to present: technological progress of solar panels
In the 1980s, the efficiency of solar panels was significantly improved, while the cost gradually decreased. With the continuous progress of technology, the application range of solar panels is becoming increasingly widespread, including household photovoltaic power generation, commercial photovoltaic power generation, solar cars, solar boats, and so on.
Since the 21st century: the diversified development of solar panels
With the continuous development of technology, the diversified development of solar panels is becoming increasingly evident. In addition to traditional silicon solar panels, new types of solar panels such as thin film solar panels and dye sensitized solar panels have also emerged. At the same time, the application scenarios of solar panels are also expanding, such as intelligent buildings, solar light poles, solar power charging banks, and so on.
Future development trends
With the increasing global demand for clean energy, the prospects for solar panels are very broad. In the future, the development direction of solar panels will pay more attention to improving efficiency, reducing costs, expanding scale, and other aspects. At the same time, the combination of solar panels and energy storage technology will also become a future development trend, making solar panels more intelligent and convenient.