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Subhendu Guha Innovative Lives Presentation

Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Guha, Subhendu  Search this
United Solar Systems Corporation.  Search this
Berger, Sondra  Search this
0.5 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
This collection contains original, master, and reference videos documentingSubhendu Guha, inventor of the solar shingle.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains original, master, and reference videos and photographs and transcripts for select footage from the Subhendu Guha Innovatibve Lives Presentation.
Collection divided into three series.

Series 1: Original videos, 1998

Series 2: Master videos, 1998

Series 3: Reference videos, 1998

Series 4: Photographs, 1998
Biographical / Historical:
Subhendu Guha was born in Calcutta, India. He studied physics at Presidency College and later did graduate work at the University of Calcutta. Guha earned his Ph.D from the University of Calcutta in 1968 and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, India. At the Tata Institute, Guha investigated certain properties of semiconductors. He became interested in the use of semiconductors to convert sunlight into electricity. The conversion of sunlight to electricity is known as photovoltaics. Guha's concern for environmental and societal problems led him to focus on amorphous silicon, an element found in sand that can be applied as a thin film to produce photovoltaic material. This research led Guha to add hydrogen in the production process, which made a more useful amorphous silicon . Practical applications for Guha's work led him to Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) in the United States. ECD promoted the use of solar energy for a variety of applications. Ultimately, Guha joined an ECD joint company, United Solar Systems to manufacture solar cells. His research led him to produce a photovoltaic panel that is seven feet long and a foot wide, is lightweight, flexible, rugged, durable, and is easy to install with conventional panels. The panels were innovative because of their design, materials, and production process. Manufacturing begins with stainless steel that is washed to remove surface dirt. Two layers of reflective coating are then applied followed by layers of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon-germanium alloys. Each layer absorbs a different photon-energy wave length. The panels can be mounted on a roof with nails. Wires are then dropped from the panels into a building where they are hooked to the buildings electrical boxes to channel energy to circuits. The flexible solar shingle is manufactured by United Solar Systems Corporation of Troy, Michigan.
This collection was created by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on October 21, 1998. The Innovative Lives series brings young people and American inventors together to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product.
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Photovoltaic cells -- 1960-2000  Search this
Solar energy -- 1960-2000  Search this
Solar energy  Search this
Shingles -- 1960-2000  Search this
Photovoltaic power generation -- 1960-2000  Search this
Electricity -- 1960-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Subhendu Guha Innovative Lives Presentation, 1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Subhendu Guha Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Online Media:

Green capitalism? : business and the environment in the twentieth century / edited by Hartmut Berghoff and Adam Rome

Berghoff, Hartmut  Search this
Rome, Adam 1959-  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 298 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
20th century
Environmentalism--Economic aspects--History  Search this
Capitalism--Environmental aspects--History  Search this
Business enterprises--Environmental aspects--History  Search this
Environmental policy--Economic aspects--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

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