Solar panels last chance

It was a suggestion to use solar technology on the Vanguard I satellite that gave solar technology one last break for freedom in the world.

While there were doubts that this “new” technology could be depended on sufficiently for such an important mission, the overall benefit of an unlimited power supply, convinced project managers to put their faith in solar technology. The solar panels worked out well for the Vanguard and they became a common sight on future space bound objects.

During the 1950s and 1960s period that followed the primary use of solar technology was for objects destined for space. This was because their power to weight ratio of solar technology was higher than any of the other competing technologies.

However this was also the solar technologies Achilles heel, because while applications of solar technology in space saw industry quite happy paying any price for the best possible solar cells, there was little incentive for people interested in converting their own existing energy supply to solar cells, because it just wasn’t cost effective.

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