The history of the creation of solar cells began in the 19th century, and the technology of their production was surprisingly rapid. The reason for this was the ongoing study of solar energy transformation. In 1839 Antoine-Cesar Becker presented the chemical he created, producing electricity under the influence of the sun. The first solar battery had only 1% efficiency. That is only one percent of sunlight turned into electricity.
In 1873 Willoughby Smith discovered the sensitivity of selenium to light, and in 1877 it noted that selenium produced electricity through light. In 1880 Charles Fris used gold plated selenium to produce the first solar cell that also had 1% efficiency. However, Fryz considered his solar elements revolutionary. He considered the possibility of free use of solar energy as a means of energy diversification, predicting that solar cells will soon replace existing power plants.
In 1905 Albert Einstein’s expectations of photovoltaic effects were linked to higher efficiency of solar cells, but progress was insignificant. In the mid-20th century studies in the field of diodes and transistors gave the scientists the necessary knowledge. In 1954 Gordon Pearson, Darryl Chapin and Cal Fuller produced a silicon solar cell with 4% efficiency. Later cell effectiveness increased to 15%. Solar energy supporters claim that the amount of solar radiation that can reach Earth’s surface every year can easily meet energy needs several times. However, the history of solar batteries should take a long time before the realization of Charles Fries’s dream, free and affordable solar energy.