Solar energy is one of the most used renewable energy sources since this can easily be derived from sunlight. It helps provide heat and electricity to different buildings and households through solar panels. Before this has become a necessary piece of technology in any structure, this first went through a series of developments and changes over the years. Uncover the rich history of solar energy by reading through all the details here at Maharashtra Solar:
Beginnings of solar energy
According to historical records, solar energy was first used in the 7th century B.C. where people of that time used sunlight as a way to light fires with a magnifying glass. Then in the 3rd century B.C., the Greeks and Romans started to use solar power with mirrors to light torches for religious events. As this became a norm in their society, they started calling it ‘burning mirrors’. On the other side of the world, the Chinese also utilized mirrors for a similar purpose during 20 A.D.
Apart from using sunlight in religious ceremonies, solar energy was also related to the early concepts of sunrooms. These are rooms that have wide windows to direct sunlight in one certain area. You can usually see this in the amazing Roman bathhouses that are placed on the south side of a specific building. It was also popular among the Pueblo Native Americans in the 1200s A.D. where they make homes on cliffs so that they can capture the sun’s warmth during winter.
Years later, in the late 1700s to 1800s, lots of researchers and scientists were able to develop a mechanism that allows sunlight to power ovens for long voyages. They also honed solar power to create steamboats.
Invention of the solar panels
Solar panels are another amazing innovation related to solar energy. Its initial development is a big debate among scientists but most of them credited its beginnings with the invention of the solar cell by French scientist Edmond Becquerel. He was able to find that light could increase the production of electricity when two metal electrodes were put in a conducting solution. This then led to the creation of the ‘photovoltaic effect’ which pivoted the significant developments related to the element selenium.
Contrary to this significant milestone, the solar cells that are known presently are made with silicon and not selenium. That’s why many people argue that the ones who should be given credit for the creation of solar panels should be the following:
- Daryl Chapin
- Calvin Fuller
- Gerald Pearson.
The three aforementioned individuals were noted to create the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at Bell Labs in 1954. Many believe that this was the true beginning of PV technology since it was the first time that solar energy was used to power an electric device for long durations.
Discover more at Maharashtra Solar
Dig further into the intricate details about solar energy and solar panels by browsing through Maharashtra Solar. We discuss various topics related to solar power along with other renewable energy sources. Check it out now!