Solar Panel Information
Solar panels first became commercially available in the mid 1950's but the efficiency of the cells was quite low at that time.
By the late 50's the efficiency problem had been improved enough that the first solar powered satellite was launched in 1958.
From then until the early 90's solar panels were only used for powering satellites, and small electronics like calculators and watches.
That was then, now just look at this... Simple High Efficiency Solar Panels