Since the discovery of the photovoltaic effect (referred to as the photovoltaic phenomenon) of liquid by French scientist E.Blaquerel in 1839, solar cells have gone through a long history of development for more than 160 years. In terms of overall development, both basic research and technological progress have played a positive role in promoting it. What plays a decisive role in the practical application of solar cells is the successful development of monocrystalline silicon solar cells by three scientists at Bell Laboratories in the United States, which plays a milestone in the history of solar cell development. So far, the basic structure and mechanism of solar cells have not changed.

In 1877 W.G. dams and R.E.Dams studied the photovoltaic effect of selenium (Se) and made the first selenium solar cell.

In 1883, American inventor charlesFritts described the principle of the first selenium solar cell.

In 1904, Hallwachs discovered that copper combined with cuprous oxide (Cu/Cu2O) has photosensitive properties; German physicist AlbertEinstein published a paper on the photoelectric effect.

In 1918, Polish scientist Czochralski developed a lifting process for growing monocrystalline silicon.

In 1921, German physicist Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his 1904 theory to explain the photoelectric effect.

In 1930, B.Lang studied cuprous oxide/copper solar cells and published a paper on “New photovoltaic cells”. W.Schottky published “Novel cuprous oxide photocells”.

In 1932, Audobert and Stora discovered the photovoltaic phenomenon of cadmium sulfide (CdS).

In 1933, L.O. Grundahl published the paper “Cuprous oxide rectifier and Photocell”.

In 1941, ORR discovered the photovoltaic effect on silicon.

In 1951, the p-n junction was grown to achieve the preparation of single crystal germanium batteries.

In 1953, Dr. DanTrivich of Wayne State University completed the first theoretical calculation of photoelectric conversion efficiency of various materials with different bandgap widths based on solar energy.

1954 RCA laboratory P.R appaport reported cadmium sulfide such as photovoltaic (pv) phenomenon, (RCA: RadioCorporationofAmerica, the radio corporation of America).

Bell Laboratories researchers D.M. hapin, C.S.Uller and G.L.Pearson reported the discovery of a single-crystal silicon solar cell with 4.5% efficiency, which reached 6% efficiency a few months later.

In 1955, WesternElectric (WesternElectric) began to sell silicon photovoltaic technology commercial patents, held an international solar energy conference at the University of Arizona, Hoffman Electronics launched a commercial solar cell product with an efficiency of 2%, the cell is 14mW/ piece, $25 / piece, equivalent to 1785USD/W.

1956 P. appaport, J.J. oferski, and E.G. inder published “Electron Current effects in Germanium and silicon p-n junction”.

In 1957, Hoffman Electronics’ monocrystalline silicon cell achieved 8% efficiency; D.M. hapin, C.S. Friler and G.L.Pearson patented “Solar Energy Conversion Device”.

In 1958, T.M. andelkorn of the U.S. Signal Force made n/p monocrcrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, which have strong radiation resistance, which is very important for space batteries; Hoffman’s monocrystalline silicon cell achieves 9% efficiency;The first photovoltaic cell powered satellite Pioneer 1 launched, photovoltaic cell 100c square meters, 0.1W, for a spare 5mW microphone power supply .

China in 1958 developed the first silicon single crystal , officially began to develop solar cells.

Initially, the batteries developed were mainly used in the space field.

From 1958 to 1965, the efficiency of the PN junction battery developed by the semiconductor institute has improved by leaps and bounds, and the efficiency of the 10×20mm battery has stabilized at 15%, which is not much different from the international level.

From 1968 to the end of 1969, the Semiconductor Institute undertook the task of developing and producing silicon solar panels for the Shijian-1 satellite.

In 1969, the Semiconductor Institute stopped the research and development of silicon solar cells, and then Tianjin 18 developed and produced solar arrays for Dongfanghong 2, 3 and 4 series geosynchronous orbit satellites.

China’s solar power development history

As a new world economic engine, the photovoltaic industry has shown unprecedented vitality. A large number of photovoltaic enterprises came into being, and now photovoltaic output has reached the world’s leading level. Now let’s review the history of China’s solar energy development:

in 1958, China developed the first silicon single crystal .

From 1968 to the end of 1969, the semiconductor Institute undertook the task of developing and producing silicon solar panels for the “Shijian-1 satellite”. In the study, the researchers found that P+/N silicon monolithic solar cells will encounter electron radiation when operating in space, causing battery attenuation, so that the battery can not run in space for a long time.

In 1969, the Semiconductor Institute stopped the research and development of silicon solar cells, and then Tianjin 18 developed and produced solar arrays for Dongfanghong 2, 3 and 4 series geosynchronous orbit satellites.

In 1975, Ningbo and Kaifeng successively established solar cell factories, and the battery manufacturing process mimicked the process of early production of space batteries, and the application of solar cells began to fall from space to the ground.

In 1998, the Chinese government began to pay attention to solar power generation and proposed to build the first set of 3MW polycrystalline silicon battery and application system demonstration project, which made Miao Liansheng, now the chairman of Tianwei Yingli New Energy Co., LTD., see a ray of light. However, at that time, the development prospects of the solar energy industry were not clear, coupled with policy constraints, so that many people were discouraged from this new energy project. In the case of the withdrawal of partners, Miao Liansheng resolutely bucked the trend and won the approval of this project, becoming the first person in China’s solar energy industry to “eat crabs”.

In 2001, Wuxi Suntech established a 10MWp (megawatt) solar cell production line was successful, in September 2002, Suntech’s first 10MW solar cell production line was officially put into operation, the capacity is equivalent to the previous four years of the total national solar cell production, in one stroke, the gap between China and the international photovoltaic industry shortened by 15 years.

From 2003 to 2005, under the pull of the European market, especially the German market, Suntech and Baoding Yingli continued to expand production, and many other enterprises have established solar cell production lines, so that the production of solar cells in China has grown rapidly.

In 2004, Luoyang monocrystalline Silicon Factory and China Nonferrous Metals Design Institute jointly set up a 12 pairs of rod energy-saving polysilicon reduction furnace, based on this, in 2005, the first 300 tons of polysilicon production project was completed and put into operation, thus opening the grand development of China’s polysilicon prologue.

In 2007, China became the largest producer of solar cells, production jumped from 400MW in 2006 to 1088MW.


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