SS Component

Alexandre Edomond Becquerel:

Alexandre Edomond Becquerel was a french physicist that studied electricity and the solar spectrum. In 1839, at age 19, experimenting in his father's laboratory, Becquerel created the world's first photovoltaic cell. In this experiment, silver chloride was placed in an acidic solution and illuminated while connected to platinum electrodes, generating voltage and current. Because of this work, the photovoltaic effect has also been known as the "Becquerel effect".


In 1839 Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect which explains how electricity can be generated from sunlight. He claimed that "shining light on an electrode submerged in a conductive solution would create an electric current." However, even after much research and development subsequent to the  discovery, photovoltaic power continued to be very inefficient and solar cells were used mainly for the purposes of measuring light. Over 100 years later, in 1941, Russell Ohl invented the solar cell, shortly after the invention of the transistor. In 1953, Calvin Fuller, Gerald Pearson, and Daryl Chapin, discovered the silicon solar cell. This cell actually produced enough electricity and was efficient enough to run small electrical devices. The year is 1956, and the first solar cells are available commercially. The cost however is far from the reach of everyday people. In the early 1970's a way to lower to cost of solar cells was discovered.