The history of the solar cars

The year is , and the first solar cells are available commercially. The cost however is far from the reach of everyday people.

First Solar Cars

These novelty items were the first item to have solar cells available to consumers. This research was spearheaded by Exxon. Most off-shore oil rigs used the solar cells to power the waning lights on the top of the rigs. They began showing up on railroad crossings, in remote places to power homes, Australia used solar cells in their microwave towers to expand their telecommunication capabilities. Even desert regions saw solar power bring water to the soil where line fed power was not an option!

Today we see solar cells in a wide variety of places.

You may see solar powered cars. There is even a solar powered aircraft that has flown higher than any other aircraft with the exception of the Blackbird. Recently new technology has given us screen printed solar cells, and a solar fabric that can be used to side a house, even solar shingles that install on our roofs. English chemist John F.

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Lightyear One debuts as the first long-range solar-powered electric car

Daniell was credited with developing the first "primary" cell, even though his work was a continuation of the research carried out in the late 's by Italian scientist Alessandro Volta. Volta's battery or galvanic cell , called the "Voltaic Pile," consisted of silver and zinc discs separated with cardboard and soaked in salt water.


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Daniell's primary cell was more efficient, but French physicist Gaston Plante took this discovery one step further in with the invention of the lead-acid storage battery. The modern "dry cell" battery was developed just a few years later by another Frenchman, Georges Leclanche.

Potential of Solar energy

But steam had had its day, and the wealthy showed an overwhelming admiration for the quietness and simplicity of the electric cars. Electric-powered taxis plied the streets of New York, but country trips were a constant problem.


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  • With no power source at their country estates to recharge the batteries of their carriages, the wealthy found electric transport had its limitations. The development of the automobile starter motor by Charles Kettering in ended the electric vehicle's hold on the market place.

    The History Of Solar Power | Experience

    The year was the high point for electric vehicles in the U. This trend for electric vehicles went downhill from here with only limited use in specialized commercial applications.


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    • The GM Electrovan was one of the most famous examples of the fuel cell electric vehicle. Using NASA technology, GM engineers developed a means of using a non-liquid membrane and platinum electrodes which acted as a catalyst in the presence of hydrogen and oxygen.

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