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Who Invented Solar Panel Technology?

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

February 23, 2023

Solar energy has become an increasingly important source of renewable energy in recent years, and it all began with the invention of the solar panel. But who was responsible for this revolutionary technology? In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of solar panel technology, from its early days to today’s cutting-edge innovations.

We’ll also look at the pioneering individuals and organizations that have propelled this technology forward, allowing us to harness the sun’s energy for our own needs. So, let’s dig into the fascinating story of how one person’s curiosity and creativity changed the course of history. Let’s find out who invented solar panel technology!


Augustin Mouchot’s solar-powered engine, 19th Century stock illustration

French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel

The sun’s power is undeniable. Still, it took the ingenuity of a brilliant French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel to unlock its potential as a renewable energy source. Becquerel’s discovery was a breakthrough in the field of physics and laid the foundation for developing solar panels that we use today.

Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel – the French physicist Born into a family of scientists. Thus, it’s no surprise that he followed in their footsteps and made his mark in physics.

At the ripe age of 19, he became his father’s assistant at the Museum of Natural History in Paris and made the most of it! He researched the properties of light and even developed the first polarimeter, which sounds like a fancy spaceship. Still, it’s an instrument used to measure the polarization of light.

Well, Becquerel didn’t stop there. He also discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839, the principle that solar panels are based. He discovered that when a metal electrode is exposed to light, it generates an electric current – talk about a bright idea! This discovery paved the way for developing solar cells and panels, which have since become an essential renewable energy source.

Before Becquerel’s discovery, scientists knew that light could generate electricity, but they needed to understand how it worked. Becquerel was studying the behavior of various materials when he noticed that silver chloride, when exposed to light, produced a small electric current. This observation led him to discover the photovoltaic effect – the phenomenon in which light is converted into an electric current when it hits a material such as a metal or a semiconductor.

The Frenchman’s discovery paved the way for developing solar cells and panels, which harness the power of the sun to produce clean, renewable energy. Solar technology has come a long way since then. Still, Becquerel’s work was a critical first step toward a more sustainable future.

Today, solar energy is one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy sources. Solar panels can be found on rooftops, fields, and in space, where they power satellites and spacecraft. They are a popular choice for households and businesses alike, providing a clean and affordable source of electricity that can be used to power everything from appliances to electric vehicles.

But the impact of Becquerel’s discovery goes beyond solar technology. It also laid the foundation for photo electricity, which explores the relationship between light and electricity. This field has led to technological advances, including developing digital cameras and using lasers in surgery.

His legacy lives on today, not just in the technology we use but also in the inspiration he provides to scientists and researchers worldwide. His discovery of the photovoltaic effect demonstrates the power of curiosity and the importance of pursuing scientific inquiry. It reminds us that even the most minor observations can lead to groundbreaking discoveries that can change the world. So, let’s understand the history of solar energy and get to know the photoelectric effect.

Photovoltaic Effect:

Have you ever wondered how solar panels work and how they can convert sunlight into electricity? The answer lies in a fascinating phenomenon called the photovoltaic effect.

The photovoltaic effect is how certain materials, like silicon, can generate an electric current when exposed to light. When sunlight hits a solar panel, it is absorbed by the silicon cells within the PV panel. This energy causes the electrons in the silicon to become excited and move around, creating an electrical current.

This electrical current is then captured by the solar panel, which comprises a series of cells connected in a circuit. The energy is then sent through an inverter, which converts it into a form that the appliances in your home can use. Voila! You have just harnessed the power of the sun to generate clean, renewable energy.

The beauty of solar panels is that they don’t require any moving parts or fuel to generate electricity. They simply rely on the natural energy of the sun to produce power. It makes them a low-maintenance, sustainable source of energy that can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and lower our carbon footprint.

But it’s not just the technology that makes solar panels so remarkable. It’s also the fact that they have the potential to transform the way we think about energy. By capturing the sun’s power, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and the planet.

Solar Today:

The sun has been an energy source for thousands of years. Still, we learned how to harness its power to generate electricity in the past century. The first solar cells were invented in the 1950s. Since then, we have seen tremendous advancements in the technology of solar panels. Let’s take a closer look at the progress in solar panel design and manufacturing and how it has led to more efficient and cost-effective solar panels.

Advances in Materials:

One of the most significant advancements in solar panel technology has been the development of new materials for solar cells. The first solar cells were made of silicon, the most commonly used material today. However, researchers have been experimenting with other materials, such as cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide, which have proven to be more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity.

In addition, new types of silicon, such as monocrystalline and polycrystalline, have been developed, which are more efficient at generating electricity than the original silicon cells. These advances in materials have led to the development of solar panels that are smaller, more lightweight, and more efficient at generating electricity than ever before.

Advances in Design:

Another breakthrough in solar panel technology has been the development of more efficient designs. Early solar panels were large and heavy and required a lot of space to generate electricity. Today, solar panels are much more compact and can be easily installed on roofs or other surfaces.

In addition, new design features, such as bifacial panels, which can capture sunlight from both sides of the panel, have been developed. This panel can generate up to 25% more electricity than a traditional solar panel. Advancement design advancements have also led to the development of solar trackers, which automatically adjust the panel’s angle to capture the most sunlight throughout the day.

Advances in Manufacturing:

The manufacturing process for solar panels has also undergone significant changes in recent years. Early solar panels were labor-intensive to produce, and the process was expensive. Today, solar panel manufacturing has become much more automated with robotics and other advanced technologies.

It has led to a significant reduction in the cost of solar panels. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the cost of solar panels has fallen by 80% since 2010, making solar energy more accessible to a broader range of consumers.

Hence, the advancements in solar panel technology have led to more efficient and cost-effective solar panels. With new materials, designs, and manufacturing processes, solar panels are smaller, lighter, and more efficient at generating electricity than ever before. It has made solar energy more accessible to consumers and has helped to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. As we progress in solar panel technology, we can look forward to a future powered by clean, renewable energy from the sun.

Solgen Power:

With over $50M in revenue since 2019, Solgen Power has been revolutionizing the solar energy industry. Solgen Power has grown to be one of the leading companies for residential and commercial solar installations across the nation.

About Solgen Power:

Solgen Power is a solar company that sells and installs solar panels to help homeowners and businesses save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. From selling and installing solar systems to developing strategies for system designs and loan approvals, Chris and his team have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Our Story:

Solgen Power was founded in 2017 in the garage of our founders, Chris Lee, Daryl Kelly, and Roby Clyde. They combined their 30+ years of experience in the solar sales industry. They knew the time was ripe for their community to benefit from solar power. With the possibility of new government incentives on the horizon, Solgen Power was born.

We started small but quickly grew in popularity. In 2020, Solgen Power got established at a national level. Solgen Power became one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States in just a few short years, according to Inc 5000 of 2021. Today, we have installed over 12,000 solar panel systems, and our customers have saved over 1.3 million dollars.

Our Success:

What sets us apart is our commitment to our customers. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service, and our clients have rewarded us with their loyalty. Our success is also due to our focus on quality, affordability, and sustainability. We use only the best materials in our solar panels and installations and offer competitive pricing to ensure everyone can benefit from solar power. Solgen power’s Solar panels can save most of your money on energy bills. The average Solgen Power customer saves over $2,600 annually on their energy bill.

Our Process:

Here’s how we work:

  • Inspection: Our team of experts will inspect your home to determine if it is a good candidate for solar power. We’ll evaluate your roof, orientation, shading, and energy usage to determine if solar panels are the right choice for you.
  • Design: Our designers will work with you to create a layout that meets your needs and maximizes energy production. We’ll consider your energy usage, available space, and any aesthetic preferences you may have.
  • Installation: Our team of experts will install the solar panels on your roof, ensuring they are correctly attached and aligned for maximum energy production.
  • Activation: Once the solar panels are installed, we’ll activate your new solar power system and ensure it works correctly. We’ll also teach you how to monitor your energy usage and production.

Our Goal:

At Solgen Power, we believe that solar power is the future. We’re passionate about helping our customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Our commitment to quality, affordability and sustainability has helped us become one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the United States. With over 12,000 installations and counting, we’re proud to be making a difference, one solar panel at a time. So, what are you waiting for? Join the solar revolution and start saving money and the planet today!

Final Words:

Now that you have learned about the fascinating history of Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel and his discovery of the photovoltaic effect, it’s clear that solar power has come a long way since then. With advances in materials, design, and manufacturing processes, solar panels have become more efficient and cost-effective, making it easier for homeowners to switch to solar energy.

Solgen Power is a company at the forefront of this solar revolution, providing services such as selling and installing solar panels, inspecting homes, designing layouts, and obtaining permits. Starting in 2017, Solgen Power has grown exponentially. It now operates nationally, providing affordable and reliable solar power solutions for thousands of households.

By switching to solar power, you will unlock several benefits for yourself, your bank balance, and the environment. Contact Solgen Power today to learn more about the benefits of solar power and take the first step towards a more sustainable future.

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Solgen Power is a solar energy contractor that sells and installs solar for homeowners. Solgen Power has been recognized by INC. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Solgen Power has grown nationwide and continues to provide excellent customer service to homeowners.

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Copyright © 2022 Solgen Power, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2022 Solgen Power, All Rights Reserved