is great! It keeps us warm, gives the Earth light and gives us energy! We all know the power of the sun, but how long have humans been using the sun’s rays for power?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy
the first use of solar power was in the 7th
Century B.C. when magnifying glass was used to make fire and of course burn ants. This tactic came in handy a few centuries later when the Greeks use bronze shields to reflect the sun and start fire to wooden ships. The Roman’s took a less destructive route and used large widows in bathhouses so that the sun could heat the water.
It wasn’t until 1767 when a Swiss scientist created the first solar collector, which was just an insulated box covered with glass to absorb heat energy. It became widely known as the first solar oven. Almost 100 years later a French scientist discovered the photovoltaic effect, the process of converting sunlight into an electric currency – basically what we now know as solar power.
Years later, before the start of the 20th
century, the first solar cell was introduced, the first solar heater was created and just after that copper was introduced into solar cells. Using copper was an improvement from previous models and is still being used today, like our CIGS technology.
Solar power equipment started to become popular in the U.S. following World War II and not just with the citizens. In 1958 solar power was used in satellites and space stations, this is considered to be the first commercial use of solar power.
However, solar power really didn’t take off until the 1970s when the Exxon Corporation designed an efficient solar panel that was also less costly to manufacture. Seven years later the U.S. government launched the Solar Energy Research Institute. In 1981 the first solar powered aircraft flew from France to England and in 1982 the first solar power car was developed in Australia.
In just the past few years solar power has seen enormous growth; portable solar panels make it easy to charge anywhere and solar farms help power countless homes. But what’s next for solar power? It’s tough to tell, but the options are certainly limitless.