Solar Energy History. How This Technology Has Evolved
Solar energy history has shown this technology to be an improving science throughout time, with its uses going back thousands of years.
Today’s solar energy facts also prove what an important role this discovery will play in preserving our world for future generations.
What is solar power? In basic terms, solar power is the conversion of the sun’s energy into electricity.
Here is a brief history of solar power.
In 1838 French physicist Edmund Becquerel discovers the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with and electrolytic cell made up of two metal electrodes placed in an electricity-conducting solution. The electricity increases when exposed to light.
The very first solar cell was created in 1883 by a man named Charles Fritz. You can imagine the enthusiasm when the realization was clear that this cell fueled by the sun had the ability to produce energy.
The conversion rate of sunlight into energy at the time was one to two percent.
Fifteen years later Thomas Edison received an award for the first light bulb.
Although exciting and new at the time, these were not the first recorded times utilizing the sun to produce energy.
Solar energy use dates back as far as the seventh century B.C. when magnifying glasses were used to create fire. And in the third century B.C. the Greeks and Romans further used solar energy to create torches for their religious activities and ceremonies.
From the first to fourth centuries the Romans demonstrated their use of passive solar energy in designing their bath houses with south facing windows to let the suns warmth in.
It was never proven, although very possible, that solar energy was even utilized in Roman battles to set fire of enemy ships.
In times that are more recent, we began to use solar energy for scientific measures. The first satellite was launched into space utilizing the sun’s power during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Today the realization is clear that we are beginning to use up our nonrenewable resources such as oil, coal, and gas. Of course we still have these fuels, but they are decreasing rapidly.
It is imperative that we find another solution to cater to our existence. Through the history of solar power we have found that solar energy is a viable alternative.
Because the need for an alternative form of energy has grown and is even becoming vital to our existence, more and more industries are climbing on board with efforts of saving the world. The advantages of using solar power have become evident.
The solar energy facts show that the cost of solar power has become more affordable as the demand has grown. And the efficiencies of the solar cells to produce electricity have increased from the 1-2% at the time of its discovery to 7-8% on average today.
Scientists have found ways to use solar power to heat homes, and swimming pools and to provide all of the electrical power for your home, all from the suns Free abundant energy.
Even household appliances and cars are beginning to be powered by the cell that thousands of years ago was a phenomenon.
We can expect that this growth will only explode in the future. Statistics show that we need to act and act now to save the planet and conserve what is left. As these alarming numbers rise so will use of the solar power.
The amazing growth in solar energy history from its infancy in 1883 to the industry it is today has come quite a ways, and with time will become an increasingly dominant and important energy source.
We have given you a basic solar energy history lesson here, however for a more detailed timeline of solar energy facts visit The US Department of Energies
EERE Solar Energy History Timeline
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