The First Practical Solar Cell

Bell Laboratory scientists Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson announced the invention of the first practical silicon-based solar cell. These cells were later displayed at the National Academy of Science Meeting. This cell was also used to power a solar-powered radio transmitter, which broadcasted this meeting. Initially, the solar cells had an efficiency of 6%, but today commercial solar panels have up to 20% efficiency. The New York Times speculated that these cells "may provide more power than all the world's coal, oil, and uranium," which excited engineers around the globe. Image: Public Domain,    

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

25 Apr 1954