Solar Power Guide

History Of Solar Power- UNCOVERED




Contrary to popular belief, solar power or power that could be derived from the sun had attracted the attention of scientists long ago. So it can be safely stated that the history of solar power is fairly long. Here we will take a look at the rich and interesting history of solar power.



History Of Solar Power

People realized a long time back that the Sun could be a source to light up homes and that the energy can be used for other purposes as well. In fact, as a form of energy, it was first developed by Mouchout of France in 1860 whose solar engine consisted of a glass enclosed iron vessel with reflectors surrounding it. How did it work? Solar heat reflected on to the vessel made the water in it to boil and the ensuing steam managed to operate an experimental steam engine. Of course, this was a modest start, but the beginning had happened.


Later, William Adams made improvements on it and with a configuration of 72 mirrors or reflectors; it could produce three times as much power as Mouchoutís first solar engine. Though several modifications done by Charles Tellier, John Ericsson, Henry E. Willsie Eneas and Shuman had notably enhanced the performance of Mouchoutís solar engine, it failed commercially in the face of coal fired engines that were cheaper as well as more convenient to use during those early days.


When people first felt in the 1st half of the 19th century of the limited stock of fossil fuel, alternative sources of energy began to be explored. And this resulted in the use of wind and water power. Hydro-electrical power plants came into being in the great Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) areas while windmills started pumping water and punishing Don Quixote in the Netherlands.


Manís quest for alternative power source however received a big shot in the arm when Col. Edwin Drake drilled and extracted crude petroleum out of the ground in Titusville, Pennsylvania that could, when fed into a fractional column, give rise to multitude of products starting from kerosene to petroleum. When Henry Ford mass produced motor cars, the local crude that was available in the United States were found inadequate, and so crude oil began to be imported from the Arab world where there seemed to be an unlimited deposition of this liquid dollar in the hands of billionaire Arab Sheikhs. But internal feuds and external wars eventually had put a big question mark on the crude that appears to intimidate the all powerful dollar and so once again, the search was on for yet another alternative power source. By then the realization had seeped in that it was important to find an alternative power source Ė the mindset was ready.


During the early part of the 50ís (1953 to be precise), scientists at the Bell Laboratories namely Gerald Pearson, Daryl Chapin and Calvin Fuller developed the first silicon solar cell that was capable of generating a measurable electric current solely out of the rays of the Sun. This was of course a major breakthrough in solar power. However there were problems that still needed to be overcome and technical challenges too.


Here are some of the challenges that these scientists faced. Initially, the solar photovoltaic cells were much too expensive to produce while their output was far lesser than expected. Thus while on the one hand solar power was expensive to make, on the other, the final benefit was severely restricted as well. However, all that started to change soon and this is mainly due to major governmental initiatives taken by mainly Germany and Japan, the production of PV (photovoltaic cells) has kick started to reach a phenomenal growth. Japan has already started producing hybrid cars that can run both in conventional fuel as well as on solar power while most homes and work places in the United States are heated with solar panels. Today, the solar photovoltaic (PV) energy market is growing at a whooping 30% every year.


So we can only expect in the not too distant future, the making of solar power will become cheaper and its utilization will spread all over the world. This is only a natural development, as we leverage the resources of nature to make power and thereby reduce pollution too.


The history of solar power tells us that its popularity has been on the increase for a long time. And why not, since there are obvious financial as well as ecological benefits. You can also set up a system at home Ė just ensure that you know a few things such as where exactly to set it up, how to install it, where to get the parts cheaply from, how to get free batteries, how to wire the system and also what are the safety precautions that need to be followed when you are installing the home solar power system.

Generate Your Own Electricity and Preserve Earth's Natural Resources By Building Your Own Unique Solar and Wind Power System

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