Skip to content
Get an Estimate

Profiles in Solar – Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel

Back to Blog |

To start the new year off, we here at PosiGen are going to be featuring a different piece about solar each week. It could be a person, location, or event.

Bibliothèque nationale de France

It is broadly considered that the first steps in the development of solar technology were taken 179 years ago. At that time, 19 year old Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, known as Edmond, was experimenting in the laboratory of his father Antoine Cesar Becquerel.

He illuminated electrodes coated in light sensitive materials, such as platinum or silver, by suspending them in an acidic solution and exposing them to different types of light. These are considered the first photo-voltaic devices and would eventually lead to the solar panels we are familiar with today. The photo-voltaic effect is known colloquially as the “Becquerel Effect”.

Edmond would later become a French physicist, who would also experiment with early photography techniques – though none of them were ever very popular or practical. He would focus much of his career on the study of light. His discoveries in photo-voltaics were the first, and would be followed by discoveries such as those made by Adams and Day.

“PVEducation.” First Photovoltaic Devices | PVEducation, 2018,
“Edmond Becquerel.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Feb. 2018,

Get an Estimate Today

No Strings Attached