Interesting Facts About Solar Energy


Charles Fritts was the American inventor credited with creating the first working Selenium Cell in 1883. The world's first rooftop solar array, using Fritts' selenium cells, was installed in 1884 on a New York City rooftop. Fritts coated the semiconductor material selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold.


Physicists at Bell Laboratories discovered that silicon is more efficient than selenium, creating the first practical solar cell — now 6% efficient. This discovery led to solar cells capable of powering electrical equipment. In 1956, Western Electric began selling commercial licenses for its silicon PV technologies, but the prohibitive costs of silicon solar cells keep them from widespread market saturation.


In 1958 solar energy gained support when the government used it to power space exploration equipment. The first solar-powered satellite, Vanguard 1, has traveled more than 197,000 revolutions around Earth in the 50 years it has been in orbit.


In 1979 President Jimmy Carter Installs First White House Solar Panels.President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the presidential mansion amid the Arab oil embargo, which had caused a national energy crisis.