Famous Scientists and their Inventions - Mária Telkes
Born: 12th December 1900 - Died: 5th December 1995.
Mária Telkes was born in Budapest Hungry in 1900 to Aladar and Maria Laban de Telkes. In 1920 she graduated from the University of Budapest with a B.A and later in 1924 her PhD in Physical Chemistry, which is a branch of chemistry that specifically focuses on the transformations and interactions of different materials, particles and atoms applying how the laws and principles of physics affect them.
In 1937 Mária became an American citizen and got a job working at Westinghouse Electric helping design new technologies that converted heat into electrical energy until 1939 when she started working in the field of solar power. In this role, she helped design a lifesaving technology that was used on lifeboats in World War II. This device was a solar-powered water distiller which would allow sailors to turn seawater into drinking water by filtering and condensation.
1948 saw the invention of the Dover Sun House, which was one of her biggest and most important projects, along with Eleanor Raymond they designed and constructed the first house that was heated using only solar technologies. Sunlight was captured in solar collectors which heated the air between the glass and a sheet of black coloured metal. This warm air was then pumped into the walls of the house where the heat was transferred to Glauber's salts, a type of salt that is good for heat storage.
The Ford Foundation gave Mária a grant of $45,000 in 1953 to help improve upon current heat exchanging technology to create a universal solar-powered oven which can work anywhere in the world.
In 1980 at the age of 80, Mária helped the U.S Department of Energy to successfully design and develop the worlds first fully solar-powered house in Massachusettes!