After gathering dust for 60 years, one of the first modern solar cells ever built was recently uncovered and sold at auction. It still works! Take whatever that original Energizer bunny was claiming in 1989 and add another "...and going."
Solar technologies have been around since the 19th century, but this British orb, made in 1950, is one of the earliest junction semiconductor solar cells ever created. An unknown tinkerer in Surrey, England, created it to prove to his friends that he wasn't a loon with all his solar talk. Not a loon at all, it seems. Perhaps even a visionary.
Well maybe not that, either. Solar cells are still largely inefficient and are still being refined significantly today. This six decade old device generates only 1.5 volts of electricity. But the fact that it's working at all just goes to show that sun is a pretty reliable partner in this whole energy-making endeavor. [Daily Mail]