If you are familiar with solar power, you have probably wondered about who invented the solar panels used in today’s energy systems. The answer is a combination of scientists and engineers.
The first modern solar panel was developed by Bell Laboratories in 1954. These researchers worked on a silicon photovoltaic cell that could produce electricity for hours.
Although many believe that Russell Ohl was the first to invent the solar panel, there is some debate as to who is the true inventor. According to some sources, Charles Fritts was the inventor, but other sources credit French scientist Edmond Becquerel.
Scientists began studying the photoelectric effect in the 19th century, and it eventually led to the development of the first solar cells. However, there were some issues with the early inventions, including cost and inefficiency.
A German physicist, Albert Einstein, studied the photoelectric effect and wrote a paper on it in 1905. He later received the Nobel Prize for his work on this effect.
Another scientist, August Mouchet, developed the first solar-powered printing press in 1878. Later, France stopped funding his research. This led to a slowdown in the progress of solar power.
But, as more people became aware of the potential of solar energy, it grew to become a popular source of renewable energy. Solar panels soon appeared on the roof of the White House. It is estimated that President Ronald Reagan ordered some to be installed there in 1981.