Experimental solar cell module

Experimental solar cell module

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Description (Brief)
Scientists and inventors in the 19th century recognized that some materials respond electrically to exposure to light. Alexander Graham Bell, for example, demonstrated in 1880 a “photophone” that could transmit voices using the action of sunlight on selenium. In the 1930s, Daryl Chapin studied magnetic recording at Bell Labs but later shifted to research on generating electricity with sunlight. In 1954, building on earlier work done by colleague Russell Ohl on fused silicon, Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson invented a practical solar cell. In 1969 Chapin donated two of his experimental solar cells to the Smithsonian. He also donated a module used in a test installation in Americus, Georgia, to power a rural telephone relay.
Object Name
photovoltaic module
solar cell
date made
1955
maker
Bell Laboratories
Physical Description
silicon (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 3 3/8 in x 3 1/4 in x 1 1/16 in; 8.5725 cm x 8.255 cm x 2.69875 cm
ID Number
EM.330094
catalog number
330094
accession number
285748
Credit Line
from Bell Telephone Laboratories, thru Daryl M. Chapin
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Energy & Power
Exhibition
Inventing in America
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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