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Sunny Sky - origin of solar power

Origins of Solar Power

23rd June 2020

Many of us see Solar Power as a relatively new technology but the origins of Solar Energy go back to the 7th Century BC lighting fires using magnifying materials. Even in the 3rd Century BC, Greeks and Romans regularly harnessed solar power with mirrors to light torches for religious ceremonies.

Throughout history of solar, the suns power was even used when the Romans built large South Facing windows just to capture the sun’s warmth.

Solar Panel technology caused lots of debate as it’s invention could be accredited to a number of scientists with Solar Cell technology linked to the French Scientist Edmond Becquerel. The breakthrough, called the ‘photovoltaic effect’ was a popular scientific subject matter throughout the latter part of the 19th century. Many scientists studied and experimented and produced the first Solar Cell in 1883.

Modern Day Solar Power as we know it, was marked with the creation of the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at Bell Labs by Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson in 1954. NASA used Solar Panels on many of its early expeditions and in 1964, they were responsible for the first Nimbus aircraft, which was ran entirely on a 470 watt solar array.

Huge progress was made over the next two decades with notable breakthroughs. In 1973, the first solar building, was ran on a hybrid supply of solar thermal and PV. The PV wasn’t roof mounted, as many solar panels are today, but integral to the roof.

The first solar powered airplane, ‘The Solar Challenger’, was built by Paul MacReady in 1981. Entirely powered by solar, it was flown across the English Channel to France. Later in 1998, remotely powered ‘Pathfinder’ aircraft was the first solar powered aircraft to reach an altitude record of 80,000 feet on it’s 39thconsecutive flight.

Even the White House got involved under Jimmy Carters administration in 1979, when solar panels were fitted to the White House. Sadly, these were removed later by President Regan, but later in 2010, president Obama requested that Solar Panels were fitted during his time in the White House.

Solar Power for homes has seen a huge increase over the last two decades. As we are increasingly concerned with sustainable energy sources, we are evermore looking to Solar Power to provide the energy we need.

Solar Install costs have dropped over the last decade as technology advances and production costs are lowered. Consumers often turn to solar rebates and solar reviews to find the best installer or a means of lowering the cost of installation. Solar rebates are available in many countries and can offer superb incentives to invest in this energy saving technology. 

Solar Power has a fascinating history which spans many centuries. As popularity grows, the technology, efficiency and lower cost ensures this technology gains further momentum.

By mid century it has been predicted that a quarter of the world’s electricity will be solar generated, second only to wind. The global capacity may face a rise to more than 18 times its current level by 2050.

With all this in mind, we think it’s safe to say that Solar Power is here to stay and the future is looking bright.

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Latest news

Sunny Sky - origin of solar power

Origins of Solar Power

Date: 23-06-2020

Many of us see Solar Power as a relatively new technology but the origins of Solar Energy go back to the 7th Century BC lighting fires using magnifying materials. Even in the 3rd Century BC, Greeks and Romans regularly harnessed solar power with mirrors to light torches for religious ceremonies. Throughout history of solar, the suns…

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