Solar electric applications
Photovoltaics
Sunlight can be converted into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), and
various technologies
A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts sun light into direct current using the
photoelectric effect.  

The earliest significant application of solar cells was as a back-up power source to the Vanguard I
satellite, which allowed it to continue transmitting for over a year after its chemical battery was
exhausted.  The successful operation of solar cells on this mission was duplicated in many other Soviet
and American satellites, and by the late 1960s, PV had become the established source of power for
them.  Photovoltaics went on to play an essential part in the success of early commercial satellites such
as Telstar, and they remain vital to the telecommunications infrastructure today.

The high cost of solar cells limited terrestrial uses throughout the 1960s.  This changed in the early
1970s when prices reached levels that made PV generation competitive in remote areas without grid
access.  Early terrestrial uses included powering telecommunication stations, off-shore oil rigs,
navigational buoys and railroad crossings.  These off-grid applications have proven very successful and
accounted for over half of worldwide installed capacity until 2004.
SEA Groups Ltd.
We harness the power of the sun for our future
Solar . Energy . Application
SEA Groups Ltd.
We harness the power of the sun for our future
Solar . Energy . Application
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