10 really cool Solar Power installations in (and above) the world
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Now that solar power is here, and without a doubt racing toward being a leading source of global electricity, we’ve now got some really cool, established solar power systems. Some on Earth, some above, some giant, some small. The flexibility of solar power is part of its magic.
The First Solar Panel
Charles Fritts is considered the father of solar technology. In 1884 he created the first working solar module and put it atop a building in New York City to test its financial viability. At the time, silicon had not been considered for use, instead selenium was used in addition to an extremely thin layer of gold on the surface. While to device worked, the high cost of materials made the device economically infeasible, and it would take the work of Russell Ohl in the 1930’s to make the next step. Also of interest is that this research was being done before Albert Einstein’s paper on the ‘Photoelectric Effect’ – which became the base knowledge of the modern solar industry.
The First Practical Solar Cell
Created by electrical engineer Gerald Pearson and physicist/chemist Calvin Fuller, the first practical solar cell was displayed on April 25, 1954 at Bell Labs in New Jersey. The technology was quickly adopted into mainstream use, first by telephone companies (1955), then later by the US Department of Defense for vehicles and satellites in space (1958).