Cover image for From space to Earth : the story of solar electricity
From space to Earth : the story of solar electricity
Perlin, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor, Mich. : Aatec Publications, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 224 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK1085 .P47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From Space to earth tracks the evolution of photovoltaics from its shaky nineteenth-century beginnings mired in scientific controversy, to its high visibility success in the space program, to its current position as an indispensable and versatile power source that is improving our daily lives.

Author Notes

John Perlin lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife, Margaret November, M.D., and son, Pesach.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Perlin (A Forest Journey) accessibly recounts the history of photovoltaics (the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity by solar cells) from the early 19th century to the present. In the 19th century scientists speculated, from the excavations of Pompeii, that the Romans had discovered that when clear glass is exposed to the sun, it acts as a solar heat trap. Building on this knowledge and coupling it with experiments using selenium, they created the world's first photoelectric module. This versatile power source continued to be important throughout the years: in the 1950s, solar batteries began to power telephone lines, space projects, navigation aids, and more; today, scientists are developing photovoltaic-powered satellites to provide Internet access to the remotest parts of the world. The story of photovoltaics also includes those individuals such as the priest in Mali whose innovations using solar cells and water brought relief to his drought-stricken country. This is fascinating reading for the layperson and would be suitable for large public, academic, and technical libraries where technology and the history of technology are in demand.ÄEva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Chapter 1 Photovoltaics: The Great Solar Hopep. 1
Chapter 2 Photoelectric Dreamsp. 15
Chapter 3 The Dream Becomes Realp. 25
Chapter 4 Searching for Applicationsp. 35
Chapter 5 Saved by the Space Racep. 41
Chapter 6 Bringing Solar Cells Down to Earthp. 49
Chapter 7 The First Mass Earth Marketp. 57
Chapter 8 Captain Lomer's Sagap. 71
Chapter 9 Working on the Railroadp. 77
Chapter 10 Long Distance for Everyonep. 85
Chapter 11 Father Verspieren Preaches the Solar Gospelp. 103
Chapter 12 Electrifying the Unelectrifiedp. 125
Chapter 13 Solarizing the Electrifiedp. 147
Chapter 14 Better Cells, Cheaper Cellsp. 163
Chapter 15 The Silent Revolution Continuesp. 187
Indexp. 209
Illustration Creditsp. 223