Photovoltaics and the Space Industry

The International Space Station in December, 2001. Credit: the crew of STS-108, NASA Starting in the 1950s and 60s, the space industry was the first market for photovoltaics. Photovoltaics were light and the…

Read more

Photovoltaic History – Key Milestones in the 1900s (Timeline)

Bell Labs engineer testing solar battery in 1954 Credit: Bell Labs website 1904 – Albert Einstein published his paper on the photoelectric effect (along with a paper on his theory of relativity). Wilhelm…

Read more

Photovoltaic (PV) History – the Beginning

The effect of light on the electric properties of certain materials was observed way back even before electricity became generally available. In 1839 the nineteen-year-old French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel observed the photovoltaic…

Read more

European Solar Days

The First European Solar Days will be celebrated on the 16th and 17th May 2008 with more than 4000 events and will reach thousands of European citizens throughout Europe. The ‘Tag der Sonne’…

Read more

Photovoltaic Cells

Picture: DOE/EERE Photovoltaic cells (PVs) (also known as “solar cells”) work by transforming light that comes from the sun directly into electricity without an intermediate mechanical device or thermal process. The term photovoltaic…

Read more

Passive Solar Energy Designs

Here are a few video clips which show how to take maximum advantage of the sun’s light and heat using passive solar energy designs:

Read more

Active Solar Heating

Diagram of a house with a combined solar domestic hot water and space heating system (“combisystem”) (www.estif.org) Active solar energy is more complex and requires mechanical devices to capture, store and convert the…

Read more

Passive Solar Space Heating

Picture: westernwashingtonsolar.com Space heating means heating the space inside a building. Passive solar space heating relies on incorporating building features that absorb heat and then release it slowly to maintain the temperature within…

Read more

Solar Heating Systems

Solar heating can be used to heat the space in homes and buildings or to heat the water. There are two basic types of solar heating systems: passive solar heating and active solar…

Read more

Passive Solar, Active Solar and Photovoltaics

There are three different ways to harness the sun’s energy: passive solar, using architectural design and natural materials to absorb the sun’s energy; active solar, utilizing the sun’s heat by means of solar…

Read more