The Flight of Solar-Powered Aircraft Helios

Here is a video showing compilation of test flights of the solar-powered, remotely piloted NASA’s Helios aircraft. Helios set out from Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands before 9:00 AM on Monday, August 13,…

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More Key Steps in Photovoltaic History

The world’s most advanced solar-powered airplane Icare Credit: University of Stuttgart, Germany In 1955, the first solar-powered automobile was publicly demonstrated in Chicago. It was a 15-inch Sunmobile built by William G. Cobb…

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Bringing PV Cells from Space back down to Earth

During the 1960s and early 1970s the use of solar cells in space flourished but down on Earth electricity from the sun seemed not very perspective option. The high costs of the PV…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Solar Energy and the Ancient World

Energy from the sun has been used by people for centuries. As early as the 7th century B.C., ancient people used simple magnifying glasses to concentrate the light of the sun into beams…

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