After the demonstration of silicon solar panels in 1954, Bell Labs struggled to find demand for the solar panels as they were too expensive for most mainstream applications. However, satellites needed a power source to recharge batteries and it was here solar power found an anchor customer. There is mention of $300 per watt in 1956 to 100 per watt in early 1970s when it was first applied to Earth markets in the previous link, however this doesn't cover the relevant improvements and what happened in this period.

Basically how much did solar panels improve and develop as a result of being used to power satellites?


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