Gizmodo has posted a couple of pictures of these vintage solar panels- it’s crazy how much things have changed!
This incredibly beautiful object is a dual-axis array of non-imaging solar concentrators—or, in other words, a solar panel. Things have certainly changed, haven’t they?
It was developed for photovoltaic conversion by Sun Trac Corp. for the Argonne National Laboratory in the seventies. That was when studying solar power—and searching for the most efficient ways to turn sunlight into electricity—suddenly became fashionable in the scientific world.
The unique shape of Argonne’s solar concentrators gathered sunlight scattered by haze, smog and air pollution, as well as direct sunlight. The concentrating reflectors could be used in solar heating and cooling systems or with photovoltaic cells to directly convert solar energy into electricity.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.