IEEE
You are not logged in, please sign in to edit > Log in / create account  

Milestones:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell

From GHN

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(7 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
{{ProposalNomination|docketid= 2009-02|proplink=First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell}} <br>
 
 
 
== First Practical Photovoltaic Cell, 1954  ==
 
== First Practical Photovoltaic Cell, 1954  ==
  
Invention of the First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.,Berkeley Heights, NJ, 1954  
+
''At Bell Telephone Laboratories in Berkeley Heights, NJ, Daryl Chapin, with Bell Labs colleagues Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, invented the first practical photovoltaic solar cell for converting sunlight into useful electrical power at a conversion efficiency of about six percent. It was first demonstrated on April 25, 1954 and led to the development of photovoltaic solar panels used to power virtually all satellites starting with the Vanguard 1 in March 1958 and then later to power the many photovoltaic solar cell energy systems in use today. This invention was the prototype of present photovoltaic cells that are in widespread manufacture all over the world and is a key element of the renewable energy effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels to combat global warming. This invention was quickly recognized for its importance and was put into application as the source of power for Telstar, the first commercial communications satellite.''<br>
  
At this site, within Berkeley Heights, NJ, Daryl Chapin, with Bell Labs colleagues Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, invented the first practical photovoltaic solar cell for converting sunlight into useful electrical power at a conversion efficiency of&nbsp;about six percent. It was first demonstrated on April 25, 1954 and led to the development of photovoltaic solar panels used to power virtually all satellites starting with the Vanguard 1 in March 1958 and then later to power the many photovoltaic solar cell energy systems in use today. <br>
+
<br>  
  
This invention was the prototype of present photovoltaic cells that are in widespread manufacture all over the world and is a key element of the renewable energy effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels to combat global warming. These inventors made their cells with Silicon, the dominant material used to make today's solar cells. This invention was recognized quickly and was the source of power for all communications satellites, including Telstar, the first commercial communications satellite.<br>Needless to say, communications and scientific satellites would not be possible without this invention. These cells are clearly visible on the roofs of private residents, commercial buildings, and even telephone poles. Their use is expanding rapidly.<br>The above provided by Dr. Alfred U. Mac Rae (NAE) Berkeley Heights, NJ, in email, February 28, 2009<br>
+
'''The following excerpt copied from Wikipedia.'''
  
In 1954, three American researchers, Daryl Chapin,&nbsp;Calvin Fuller,&nbsp;and G.L. Pearson demonstrated a silicon solar panel of cells capable of about six percent energy-conversion efficiency when used in direct sunlight. Up until that time only about one percent energy-conversion efficiency had been achieved.  
+
“The photovoltaic effect was first recognized in 1839 by French physicist A. E. Becquerel. However, it was not until 1883 that the first solar cell was built, by Charles Fritts, who coated the semiconductor selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold to form the junctions. The device was only around 1% efficient. Sven Ason Berglund had a number of patents concerning methods of increasing the capacity of these cells. Russell Ohl patented the modern junction semiconductor solar cell in 1946[2], which was discovered while working on the series of advances that would lead to the transistor.”<br>
  
Previous History:<br>The following excerpt copied from Wikipedia, Solar Cell, History Of Solar Cells, ref. [1], also confirmed with more detail by ref. [5]. <br>“The photovoltaic effect was first recognized in 1839 by French physicist A. E. Becquerel. However, it was not until 1883 that the first solar cell was built, by Charles Fritts, who coated the semiconductor selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold to form the junctions. The device was only around 1% efficient. Sven Ason Berglund had a number of patents concerning methods of increasing the capacity of these cells. Russell Ohl patented the modern junction semiconductor solar cell in 1946[2], which was discovered while working on the series of advances that would lead to the transistor.”
+
<br>  
  
<br>When the 1st Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cells were developed:<br>The following excerpt copied from Wikipedia, Solar Cell, History Of Solar Cells, ref. [1] <br>“The modern age of solar power technology arrived in 1954 when Bell Laboratories, experimenting with semiconductors, accidentally found that silicon doped with certain impurities was very sensitive to light. Daryl Chapin, with Bell Labs colleagues Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, invented the first practical device for converting sunlight into useful electrical power.[3] This resulted in the production of the first practical solar cells with a sunlight energy conversion efficiency of around 6 percent. The solar battery was first demonstrated on April 25, 1954. The first spacecraft to use solar panels was the US satellite Vanguard 1, launched in March 1958 with solar cells made by Hoffman Electronics. This milestone created interest in producing and launching a geostationary communications satellite, in which solar energy would provide a viable power supply. This was a crucial development which stimulated funding from several governments into research for improved solar cells.” [1]
+
'''The following is a summary of development efforts at Bell Labs leading to the invention and demonstration of the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ on April 25th, 1954, taken from reference John Perlin's [http://www.amazon.com/Space-Earth-Story-Solar-Electricity/dp/0937948144|''From Space to Earth''] Chapter 3.'''
  
<br>More detailed account of the how the 1st Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cells were developed:
+
In the very early 1950s at [[Bell Labs|Bell Labs]], Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson led the pioneering effort that developed the [[Bell Demonstrates Transistor|silicon transistor]] from theory to a practical working device. Fuller was characterized as the experimentalist while Fuller, a chemist, learned how to control the addition of impurities that would transform silicon into good semiconductor devices. During one of their experiments with gallium doped silicon which was then treated with a lithium bath, they had inadvertently developed a pretty good solar cell. In sunlight with wires connected to the p-n junction, Pearson recorded a significant current.
  
<br>The following is a summary of development efforts at Bell Labs leading to the invention and demonstration of the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ on April 25th, 1954, taken from reference [4] Chapter 3, ‘The Dream Becomes Real’.<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1249171565828_234"></span>
+
While Fuller and Pearson continued to work on improving transistor devices, another Bell Labs colleague, Daryl Chapin began work on providing small amounts of power in humid conditions as they were having difficulty maintaining energy in dry-cell batteries in humid locations. Chapin suggested the investigation of solar cells in his work which was approved and which started in February of 1953. [4] He started his work by testing a commercial selenium cell and found that it only had an energy efficiency of about 0.5 percent.  
  
<br>In the very early 1950s at Bell Labs, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson led the pioneering effort that developed the silicon transistor from theory to a practical working device. Fuller was characterized as the experimentalist while Fuller, a chemist, learned how to control the addition of impurities that would transform silicon into good semiconductor devices. During one of their experiments with gallium doped silicon which was then treated with a lithium bath, they had inadvertently developed a pretty good solar cell. In sunlight with wires connected to the p-n junction, Pearson recorded a significant current.  
+
When Pearson heard of Chapin’s disappointing solar cell work with selenium, he suggested switching to silicon and gave him a silicon solar cell that he had been testing. It was measured by Chapin as having an efficiency of 2.3 percent. As it was much better than selenium, he dropped selenium and concentrated on improving the silicon cell with a goal to reach an efficiency of 5.7 percent. After months of work he had not been able to improve the first silicon cell that Pearson had given him. One problem was making good electrical contact with the silicon and another was that lithium could migrate further into the cell at room temperature and therefore move the p-n junction further away from the surface.  
  
<br>While Fuller and Pearson continued to work on improving transistor devices, another Bell Labs colleague, Daryl Chapin began work on providing small amounts of power in humid conditions as they were having difficulty maintaining energy in dry-cell batteries in humid locations. Chapin suggested the investigation of solar cells in his work which was approved and which started in February of 1953. [4] He started his work by testing a commercial selenium cell and found that it only had an energy efficiency of about 0.5 percent.  
+
Chapin then guessed that the p-n junction should be near the surface and turned to Fuller for advice. Fuller, two years earlier, had made a device with the junction close to the surface and offered to make some samples. These were phosphorous vaporized onto positive silicon. However, after a month of work with poor results he had a hunch that the shinny surface was reflecting the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Therefore he coated the cell with dull plastic coating and got an energy conversion efficiency of about 4 percent.  
  
<br>When Pearson heard of Chapin’s disappointing solar cell work with selenium, he suggested switching to silicon and gave him a silicon solar cell that he had been testing. It was measured by Chapin as having an efficiency of 2.3 percent. As it was much better than selenium, he dropped selenium and concentrated on improving the silicon cell with a goal to reach an efficiency of 5.7 percent. After months of work he had not been able to improve the first silicon cell that Pearson had given him. One problem was making good electrical contact with the silicon and another was that lithium could migrate further into the cell at room temperature and therefore move the p-n junction further away from the surface.  
+
About this time RCA made a big media announcement that it had developed a nuclear powered silicon cell to coincide with the Atoms for Peace program initiated by President Eisenhower. It used photons from strontium-90 to activate current flow across a p-n junction. This caught the attention of Bell Labs management and put pressure on the solar cell research team to produce results. Fuller came up with better cells by cutting long strips modeled after Chapin’s best performing cells. Then he used arsenic to give the silicon a negative charge and used boron to create a thin positive top layer. Three samples were treated with the dull plastic coating and tested and one achieved an energy efficiency of nearly six percent in early 1954.  
  
<br>Chapin then guessed that the p-n junction should be near the surface and turned to Fuller for advice. Fuller, two years earlier, had made a device with the junction close to the surface and offered to make some samples. These were phosphorous vaporized onto positive silicon. However, after a month of work with poor results he had a hunch that the shinny surface was reflecting the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Therefore he coated the cell with dull plastic coating and got an energy conversion efficiency of about 4 percent.  
+
On April 25th, 1954, Bell executives presented the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ to the public with a display of cells using only sun power to operate a 21 inch Ferris Wheel. It was also pointed out in the press about that time that with the Bell solar cells linked together could deliver power at the rate of 50 watts per square yard while the RCA atomic cell delivered only a millionth watt over the same area, a difference of 50 million.<br>
  
<br>About this time RCA made a big media announcement that it had developed a nuclear powered silicon cell to coincide with the Atoms for Peace program initiated by President Eisenhower. It used photons from strontium-90 to activate current flow across a p-n junction. This caught the attention of Bell Labs management and put pressure on the solar cell research team to produce results. Fuller came up with better cells by cutting long strips modeled after Chapin’s best performing cells. Then he used arsenic to give the silicon a negative charge and used boron to create a thin positive top layer. Three samples were treated with the dull plastic coating and tested and one achieved an energy efficiency of nearly six percent in early 1954.  
+
This ends the of summary of development efforts at Bell Labs leading to the invention and demonstration of the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ on April 25th, 1954, taken from reference [4] Chapter 3, ‘The Dream Becomes Real’.
  
<br>On April 25th, 1954, Bell executives presented the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ to the public with a display of cells using only sun power to operate a 21 inch Ferris Wheel. It was also pointed out in the press about that time that with the Bell solar cells linked together could deliver power at the rate of 50 watts per square yard while the RCA atomic cell delivered only a millionth watt over the same area, a difference of 50 million.
+
== References and Further Reading  ==
  
<br>This ends the of summary of development efforts at Bell Labs leading to the invention and demonstration of the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ on April 25th, 1954, taken from reference [4] Chapter 3, ‘The Dream Becomes Real’.  
+
1. Wikipedia, Solar Cell, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell<br>
  
== References and Further Reading ==
+
2. Encyclobeamia,Solar Cell Article, http://encyclobeamia.solarbotics.net/articles/solar_cell.html<br>
  
1. Wikipedia, Solar Cell, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell<br>
+
3. National Inventors Hall of Fame, Daryl M. Chapin, Inducted into in 2008 http://www.invent.org/2008induction/1_3_08_induction_chapin.asp<br>  
  
2. Encyclobeamia,Solar Cell Article, http://encyclobeamia.solarbotics.net/articles/solar_cell.html<br>
+
4. From Space to Earth, The Story of Solar Electricity, by John Perlin, 1999, 2000, First Harvard University Press Edition 2002.<br>  
  
3. National Inventors Hall of Fame, Daryl M. Chapin, Inducted into in 2008 http://www.invent.org/2008induction/1_3_08_induction_chapin.asp<br>
+
5. Solar Energy Handbook, Jan F. Krieder, Ed. In Chief, and Frank Kreith, Chapter 24, Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion Systems, p.24-2, History.  
  
4. From Space to Earth, The Story of Solar Electricity, by John Perlin, 1999, 2000, First Harvard University Press Edition 2002.<br>
+
<br>  
  
5. Solar Energy Handbook, Jan F. Krieder, Ed. In Chief, and Frank Kreith, Chapter 24, Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion Systems, p.24-2, History.
+
== Letter from the site owner giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property  ==
 +
 
 +
[[Media:Bell_Labs_Photovoltaic_acceptance_letter.9.30.09.doc|Photovoltaic Milestone Support Letter]]
  
<br>
+
== Proposal and Nomination  ==
  
== Letter from the site owner giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property ==
+
[[Milestone-Proposal:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell|Milestone-Proposal:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell]]
  
[[Media:Bell_Labs_Photovoltaic_acceptance_letter.9.30.09.doc|Photovoltaic Milestone Support Letter]]
+
[[Milestone-Nomination:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell|Milestone-Nomination:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell]]  
 +
<div class="header"><span class="head1">INNOVATION</span><span class="head2">  MAP</span></div>
 +
<!-- Photovoltaic Cell --> <googlemap controls="small" height="250" width="300" zoom="10" lon="-74.401174" lat="40.684153" version="0.9">
 +
40.684153, -74.401174,
 +
Invention of the photovoltaic cell at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ
 +
</googlemap>
  
[[Category:Engineered_materials_&_dielectrics]]
+
[[Category:Engineered_materials_&_dielectrics|{{PAGENAME}}]]

Revision as of 20:38, 2 February 2012

Contents

First Practical Photovoltaic Cell, 1954

At Bell Telephone Laboratories in Berkeley Heights, NJ, Daryl Chapin, with Bell Labs colleagues Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, invented the first practical photovoltaic solar cell for converting sunlight into useful electrical power at a conversion efficiency of about six percent. It was first demonstrated on April 25, 1954 and led to the development of photovoltaic solar panels used to power virtually all satellites starting with the Vanguard 1 in March 1958 and then later to power the many photovoltaic solar cell energy systems in use today. This invention was the prototype of present photovoltaic cells that are in widespread manufacture all over the world and is a key element of the renewable energy effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels to combat global warming. This invention was quickly recognized for its importance and was put into application as the source of power for Telstar, the first commercial communications satellite.


The following excerpt copied from Wikipedia.

“The photovoltaic effect was first recognized in 1839 by French physicist A. E. Becquerel. However, it was not until 1883 that the first solar cell was built, by Charles Fritts, who coated the semiconductor selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold to form the junctions. The device was only around 1% efficient. Sven Ason Berglund had a number of patents concerning methods of increasing the capacity of these cells. Russell Ohl patented the modern junction semiconductor solar cell in 1946[2], which was discovered while working on the series of advances that would lead to the transistor.”


The following is a summary of development efforts at Bell Labs leading to the invention and demonstration of the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ on April 25th, 1954, taken from reference John Perlin's From Space to Earth Chapter 3.

In the very early 1950s at Bell Labs, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson led the pioneering effort that developed the silicon transistor from theory to a practical working device. Fuller was characterized as the experimentalist while Fuller, a chemist, learned how to control the addition of impurities that would transform silicon into good semiconductor devices. During one of their experiments with gallium doped silicon which was then treated with a lithium bath, they had inadvertently developed a pretty good solar cell. In sunlight with wires connected to the p-n junction, Pearson recorded a significant current.

While Fuller and Pearson continued to work on improving transistor devices, another Bell Labs colleague, Daryl Chapin began work on providing small amounts of power in humid conditions as they were having difficulty maintaining energy in dry-cell batteries in humid locations. Chapin suggested the investigation of solar cells in his work which was approved and which started in February of 1953. [4] He started his work by testing a commercial selenium cell and found that it only had an energy efficiency of about 0.5 percent.

When Pearson heard of Chapin’s disappointing solar cell work with selenium, he suggested switching to silicon and gave him a silicon solar cell that he had been testing. It was measured by Chapin as having an efficiency of 2.3 percent. As it was much better than selenium, he dropped selenium and concentrated on improving the silicon cell with a goal to reach an efficiency of 5.7 percent. After months of work he had not been able to improve the first silicon cell that Pearson had given him. One problem was making good electrical contact with the silicon and another was that lithium could migrate further into the cell at room temperature and therefore move the p-n junction further away from the surface.

Chapin then guessed that the p-n junction should be near the surface and turned to Fuller for advice. Fuller, two years earlier, had made a device with the junction close to the surface and offered to make some samples. These were phosphorous vaporized onto positive silicon. However, after a month of work with poor results he had a hunch that the shinny surface was reflecting the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Therefore he coated the cell with dull plastic coating and got an energy conversion efficiency of about 4 percent.

About this time RCA made a big media announcement that it had developed a nuclear powered silicon cell to coincide with the Atoms for Peace program initiated by President Eisenhower. It used photons from strontium-90 to activate current flow across a p-n junction. This caught the attention of Bell Labs management and put pressure on the solar cell research team to produce results. Fuller came up with better cells by cutting long strips modeled after Chapin’s best performing cells. Then he used arsenic to give the silicon a negative charge and used boron to create a thin positive top layer. Three samples were treated with the dull plastic coating and tested and one achieved an energy efficiency of nearly six percent in early 1954.

On April 25th, 1954, Bell executives presented the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ to the public with a display of cells using only sun power to operate a 21 inch Ferris Wheel. It was also pointed out in the press about that time that with the Bell solar cells linked together could deliver power at the rate of 50 watts per square yard while the RCA atomic cell delivered only a millionth watt over the same area, a difference of 50 million.

This ends the of summary of development efforts at Bell Labs leading to the invention and demonstration of the ‘Bell Solar Cell’ on April 25th, 1954, taken from reference [4] Chapter 3, ‘The Dream Becomes Real’.

References and Further Reading

1. Wikipedia, Solar Cell, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell

2. Encyclobeamia,Solar Cell Article, http://encyclobeamia.solarbotics.net/articles/solar_cell.html

3. National Inventors Hall of Fame, Daryl M. Chapin, Inducted into in 2008 http://www.invent.org/2008induction/1_3_08_induction_chapin.asp

4. From Space to Earth, The Story of Solar Electricity, by John Perlin, 1999, 2000, First Harvard University Press Edition 2002.

5. Solar Energy Handbook, Jan F. Krieder, Ed. In Chief, and Frank Kreith, Chapter 24, Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion Systems, p.24-2, History.


Letter from the site owner giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property

Photovoltaic Milestone Support Letter

Proposal and Nomination

Milestone-Proposal:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell

Milestone-Nomination:First Practical Photovoltaic Solar Cell

INNOVATION MAP