While solar energy has quickly become an everyday technology which many residential homes rely on as well as energy companies and large businesses, you may not be aware of the history of solar energy. One of the world’s cleanest forms of renewable energy. To discover a handy guide to the history of solar energy simply continue reading.
The History of Solar Energy:
The very beginning:
Humans have harnessed the power of the sun for thousands of years. In fact, in the 7th century BC, mankind started to use magnifying glass in order to use the sun to start fires. The ancient Greeks used this early form of solar power in order to use mirrors to light torches for ceremonial events. By 20 AD, the Chinese empire had also discovered how to use mirrors to create solar power.
The ancient Romans also used solar power to effectively direct sunlight into specific rooms, which were referred to as sun rooms. A practice that Native Americans also developed in the 1200s AD.
The power of the solar cell:
Many individuals credit the theory of the solar cell to French scientist Edmond Becquerel who determined that light was capable of increasing electricity generation, when 2 metal electrodes are placed in a conducting solution.. A concept which would later inspire the first solar panels.
The invention of solar technology:
However, it wasn’t until 1876 that Williams Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day discovered that the property selenium, creates electricity, when it’s exposed to sunlight In 1883 Charles Firths used Adams and Day’s concept in order to create the first solar cells, which he created using selenium wafers.
The first solar panels:
However the first proper modern solar panels were created from silicon, instead of selenium. The creation of the first silicon cell was attributed to Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, in 1954.
Early uses of solar energy:
In 1958 NASA used solar cells to power its radios. Later the same year 3 satellites were launched which featured solar energy components. By 1964 NASA launched Nimbus, a satellite which was fully powered by solar energy.
In 1973 the University of Delaware created a design for a home, which would integrate solar cells into residential home’s rooftops. Which would provide households with enough energy to power their everyday appliances.
By 1981, the first solar powered aircraft took off for the first time. Proof that solar energy can be used by a wide variety of industries.
The popularity of solar panels:
Over the last few decades the prices of solar panels have dropped dramatically. Which is one reason why it’s becoming increasingly normal for everyday houses to boast their own solar panels.
So if you are well aware of the many uses of solar energy but were unaware of the history of solar energy, hopefully you found the early history of solar energy fascinating. Especially if you were unaware that humans have been harnessing the power of solar energy for thousands of years.