Solar modules have a long history that dates back to humanity’s preoccupation with harnessing the power of the sun. Solar technology has its roots in the nineteenth century, when French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, which laid the foundation for modern solar cells.
In 1954, scientists Gerald Pearson, Daryl Chapin, and Calvin Fuller from Bell Laboratories started a new era by creating the first practical silicon solar cell. This breakthrough boasted an efficiency of around 6%, paving the way for space exploration applications.
In the year 1970, the photovoltaic industry gained momentum. Off-grid applications were among the first to use solar modules. The oil crisis during that era further fuelled interest in renewable energy sources, establishing solar technology in the mainstream.
As research progressed, efficiency climbed steadily, and costs began to decline. The 21st century brought remarkable changes, with thin-film solar modules and innovative materials entering the scene. The application of solar panels to buildings, vehicles, and even clothing showcased the versatility of this technology.
Today, solar modules are an integral part of our renewable energy landscape. With efficiency rates nearing 50% and beyond in labs and a global push for sustainable energy solutions, the history of solar modules continues to unfold.