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Monday, 27 June 2011



11 MW Serpa solar power plant in Portugal
A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect. The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the 1880s.[30] In 1931 a German engineer, Dr Bruno Lange, developed a photo cell using silver selenide in place of copper oxide.[31] Although the prototype selenium cells converted less than 1% of incident light into electricity, both Ernst Werner von Siemens and James Clerk Maxwell recognized the importance of this discovery.[32] Following the work of Russell Ohl in the 1940s, researchers Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Daryl Chapin created the silicon solar cell in 1954.[33] These early solar cells cost 286 USD/watt and reached efficiencies of 4.5–6%.[34]

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