Photovoltaic cell – the history of invention – review
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Environmental Engineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Submission date: 2022-12-13
Final revision date: 2023-02-09
Acceptance date: 2023-02-15
Publication date: 2023-03-24
Corresponding author
Adam Starowicz   

Environmental Engineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Warszawska 117A, 10-720, Olsztyn, Poland
Polityka Energetyczna – Energy Policy Journal 2023;26(1):169–180
The discovery story of photovoltaic cells is entirely typical. Chance played a role in it, and before it went to the average user, it first served the army. In addition, as with the discovery of electricity, there are many scientists and more than 100 years of technological development behind how modern photovoltaic cells and solar panels work. The first photovoltaic panels were able to power, at most, a radio. Today their power allows for the production of energy for the entire household. Technology is continuously developing, and the hence achieved efficiency keeps growing. Modern silicon solar cells of large photovoltaic farms power thousands of buildings, and this installation can be seen more and more often. This article describes the development of the use of solar energy since ancient times and the comprehensive history of the invention of the photovoltaic cell, starting with the discovery of the photoelectric effect by Edmond Becquerel in 1839 to the achievement of nearly 50% efficiency under laboratory conditions. The advances in photovoltaic cell efficiency and the price of energy production per watt over the years are also shown. Examples of the first applications of photovoltaics are given, and profiles of figures who contributed to the development of solar technology are introduced. The considerable influence of Polish scientists on the development of the photovoltaic cell is also highlighted. Without them, this method of obtaining energy would perhaps not be at high levelh level today.
Panel fotowoltaiczny – historia wynalazku – artykuł przeglądowy
ogniwo fotowoltaiczne, panel solarny, historia energii solarnej, efekt fotoelektryczny
Pod wieloma względami historia odkrycia instalacji fotowoltaicznych jest dość typowa. Odegrał w niej rolę przypadek, a zanim trafiła do zwykłego użytkownika, najpierw służyła armii. Ponadto, podobnie jak w przypadku odkrycia energii elektrycznej, za tym, w jaki sposób pracują współczesne ogniwa fotowoltaiczne oraz panele słoneczne, stoi wielu naukowców i więcej niż 100 lat rozwoju technologii. Pierwsze panele fotowoltaiczne były w stanie zasilić co najwyżej radio, dziś ich moc pozwala na produkcję energii dla całego gospodarstwa domowego. Technologia jest stale rozwijana, a co za tym idzie osiągana efektywność wzrasta. Współczesne krzemowe ogniwa słoneczne wielkich farm fotowoltaicznych zasilają kilkadziesiąt tysięcy budynków, a tego typu instalacji stale przybywa. W niniejszym artykule opisano rozwój wykorzystania energii słonecznej od czasów starożytnych oraz kompleksową historię wynalazku ogniwa fotowoltaicznego począwszy od odkrycia efektu fotoelektrycznego przez Edmonda Becquerela w 1839 roku na osiągnięciu niemal 50% sprawności w warunkach laboratoryjnych. Przedstawiono także postępy w zakresie efektywności ogniwa fotowoltaicznego oraz ceny produkcji energii w przeliczeniu na 1 wat na przestrzeni lat. Podano przykłady pierwszych zastosowań fotowoltaiki oraz przybliżono sylwetki postaci mających swój wkład w rozwój technologii solarnej. Podkreślono również niemały wpływ polskich naukowców na rozwój ogniwa fotowoltaicznego, bez których być może ten sposób pozyskiwania energii nie byłby dziś na tak wysokim poziomie.
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