By 1958, Hoffman Electronics produced photovoltaic cells that were 9 percent efficient, and then the following year those cells were used to power Vanguard I, the first satellite to use PV technology for power.
While its share of meeting the nation's energy needs is currently small, the number of photovoltaic panel installations grew 40 percent in 2009, according to data from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
By taking this approach, cells are stacked so that as light passes through the cells, the lower solar cells convert the band of light that the higher cells can't - increasing the efficiency of the entire photovoltaic cell tremendously.
The Eco-Drive system works by way of a solar conversion panel under the watch dial that uses a photovoltaic process to capture and convert light into electrical energy, which is then transferred to a special energy cell for storage.
After his discovery, physicists soon discovered the photovoltaic effects of selenium, and in 1904 Einstein published a paper describing the photoelectric effect that later won him the Nobel prize in 1923.
However, in some cases photovoltaic cells aren't the best option, such as for [[Energy Efficient Hot Water Heater|heating water, where solar heaters are far more efficient than PV based solar panels.
The easiest way to understand how do photovoltaic cells work is through reviewing how these devices were invented, and how the technology has advanced throughout the history of solar power.
The potential uses for photovoltaic cells throughout the world in order to convert the world to a more "green" existence are limited only by the size and efficiency of the technology.
While you might be familiar with solar powered devices like solar calculators or even homes that use solar panels on the roof, have you ever wondered how do photovoltaic cells work?
That may seem low, but consider that photovoltaic panels (solar panels) are 15 percent efficient, while plants are only three percent efficient at converting the sun to energy.