Solar energy is the oldest form of energy in the world. It evokes visions of gleaming solar panels and complicated technology that miraculously converts the life giving rays of sun into energy that we use as electricity.
The discovery of “photovoltaic effect” was a key game changer in the history of solar energy. Though it was an important principle into turning light into energy, the challenge even over the last few decades was how to make their construction lighter in weight and easy to use. By the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s, the study of light, metallurgy, manufacturing and patenting of solar cells have a parallel history.
Photovoltaic (PV) is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level. Some materials exhibit a property known as the photoelectric effect that causes them to absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these free electrons are captured, an electric current results and this can be used as electricity.