The History Of Solar Energy

by | Jan 31, 2014 | Solar

Behind every invention is a history. The discovery of solar power is no different. Although people tend to think of it as a modern invention used by contemporary Connecticut Solar Energy Companies, this power source dates back to the early days of time.

Solar Energy – The Beginnings

The story of solar energy begins back in time to about 700 BC.  At this time, it was discovered the sun’s rays could perform tasks such as burning up ants, grass and other objects. Later, the Greeks and Romans used its powers bounced off mirrors to light sacred torches for religious rituals. The late, great Greek scientist/philosopher, Archimedes found that the sun’s reflections from bronze shields could actually set fire to wooden ships.

This was the beginning of the slow march towards a more complete understanding and development of solar power. While solar energy companies were far in the future, individual scientists began to consider what the sun could do to improve, advance or influence the life of humankind.

The 18th and 19th Centuries

Several discoveries during the 18th and 19th centuries advanced the cause of solar power. These inventions included the creation of the first solar collector by Horace de Saussure, a Swiss scientist in 1767. In 1839, Edmond Becquerel, a French scientist, made known information about the photovoltaic effect while, in the 1860s, August Mouchet, a French mathematician, came up with the concept for steam engines powered by solar power. His invention eventually formed the basis for today’s parabolic dish collectors.

In 1885, Charles Tellier, a French engineer, placed a solar collector on the roof of his house. It resembles the flat-plate collectors currently placed by many Connecticut solar energy companies on rooftops for heating water. Meanwhile, in the United States, Clarence Kemp, an inventor, took out a patent on a commercial solar water heater.

The 20th Century

In the 21st century, scientists, inventors, engineers and architects have become involved in the process of trying to use the sun as a source of renewable and sustainable energy. Nicholas Tesla (1901), Albert Einstein (1904), William Coblentz (1914) and Robert Millikan (1916) all explored the production of converting the sun to energy with variable success. During World War II many architects sought and created passive solar structures including several well-known homes.

Meanwhile, the Bell Telephone Laboratories together with NASA began to look at the potential of using solar energy in outer space. In 1954, Bell Labs came up with the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell under the guidance of three men: Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson. The result is a string of solar-related inventions and devices intended to make solar energy inexpensive and accessible.

Unfortunately, after this Golden Age of solar energy, with inventions and solar energy companies coming to the fore, there is a slump. A revival during the 1970s offered further advances and a promise for a solar powered future. Connecticut solar energy companies became a possibility as Dr. Elliot Berman designed a less expensive solar cell.

The Promising Present for Solar Energy Companies

During the past several years, the interest in solar power has been increasing. In Connecticut, solar energy companies are establishing a strong foothold. Elsewhere across the United States, more people are considering solar energy as a viable option. After so many centuries, maybe the time for solar power as finally arrived.

If you are interested in the potential of solar energy in reducing your energy bill contact Roof Diagnostics at Among Connecticut Solar Energy Companies, we have a solid reputation for quality work. Go online and schedule an appointment with us. You will see why we are good at what we do.

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