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General History of Solar Power

To be able to talk about History of Solar Power, we must first mention that the Sun is the central star of the Solar System, the system in which we (the planet Earth) are located. It has the form of a large glowing sphere consisting of a mixture of gases, and in its chemical composition it contains predominantly hydrogen and helium, and other elements include oxygen, carbon, iron, neon, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium, and sulfur.

What matters to understand the meaning of the Sun for life on Earth is that the energy from the Sun to the Earth comes in the form of solar radiation. In the interior of the Sun, nuclear reactions take place, whereby fusion converts hydrogen into helium with the release of massive amounts of energy. Part of this energy comes to us and enables us to carry out all processes, from photosynthesis to the final, what is important in energy, the production of electricity.History of Solar Power

During history, we find a lot of examples of the exploitation of the sun’s energy, since the 7th century BC, from ancient civilizations, then through the “recent history”, the old age and the discovery of the heliocentric system (Nikola Kopernik, 1473-1543) where it was discovered that the sun is in the center of the solar system, not the way it was first believed . The first and probably the most famous form of sun use to get some form of energy that we can use is to get a fire, using a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun’s rays – by guiding through mirrors and lens to get the fire.
Ancient Chinese, Greeks, Inks, and Romans have discovered very early that curved mirrors can concentrate the Sun’s rays on any flammable, high intensity that causes objects to catch the flame at the moment. Because of the ability to ignite, the ancient peoples, these “instruments”, no matter which language they spoke, was almost uniquely called “burning mirrors.”

The world’s, as well as the religious world, took advantage of these devices to get the fire. For example, in ancient Chinese cuisine, the use of burning mirrors was as common as the use of pots. For sunny days, the sun was used for lighting, and with the family cooker a concave mirror would be placed outward and concentrating the sun’s rays of fire. If the cooker turned on (ignited), the women could cook this way.

Greek’s and Roman’s History of Solar Power

In 212 BC, Greek scientist Arhimed used the reflective properties of shields made of bronze, focusing on the Sun’s rays to ignite the wooden ships of the Romans who besieged Sirakuz, an ancient city on the shore that emerged as a Greek colony from Corinth. The famous term for this podcast is “Archimedes Air of Death”.  Although there is no reliable proof that this story in history has happened, the Greek Navy has been able to reconstruct this event so that in 1973, in the same way, a wooden boat fired at a distance of 50 meters.

The famous Roman baths, from the first to the fourth century BC, had large windows facing south to receive as much heat from the Sun as possible, thus retaining warmth in space.

The “turnaround” of the rooms in homes and public buildings toward the sun has become so common that Justinian’s law at the time, in the 6th century, launched “sun rights” to provide access to the sun to every person.

An example of solar exploitation in the thirteenth century certainly appeared from Indian civilization, Anasazi, from the North American area, living in the suburbs facing south to capture more sunlight in the winter, an obvious example of passive solar systems.

Entry Into Scientific History of Solar Energy

Scientist Horace de Saussure is credited with building the world’s first solar collector. Because of the increased use of glass during the 18th century, people slowly became aware of the ability to capture heat (“capturing” solar beams through the glass). Horace de Saussure, one of the most famous European scientists in the field of natural sciences at that time, concluded: “It is a well-known fact, and this fact is probably known for a long time, that the room, the carriage or any other place is warmer than the sun’s rays passing through the glass. ”

This French-Swiss scientist in 1767 went on to discover how to “capture heat through glass” to collect energy from the sun.

In 1816, Robert Stirling invented the machine called Heat Economiser (nowadays known as a regenerator), a device for improving thermal efficiency in various processes. This engine is later used in a solar thermal industry that uses solar thermal energy to produce electricity.

The new wave of technology advancement is undoubtedly the discovery of Edmond Becquerel in 1839. This invention is a photovoltaic effect, and its further work included experimentation with electrolytic cells made up of two metal electrodes connected to the guide. In other words, when solar radiation emits a photovoltaic cell, part of its energy is transmitted by electrons, and they are released and moved to the surface of the cell, resulting in inequality in the number of electrons between the upper and lower sides of the cell. If the cells are connected to a conductor, a direct current will flow through it. This phenomenon is a physical phenomenon in which electron-beam emitted by electron-ignited metal occurs by electromagnetic radiation of a sufficiently short wavelength. Radiation with a wavelength greater than the boundary does not spark electrons because electrons can not get enough energy to break the bond with the atom. This discovery was supplemented by Albert Einstein in his work for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921.

Further, in the sixties of the nineteenth-century French mathematician, Augustin Mouchot came to the idea of solar steam machines. Together with his assistant, Abel Pifreo, he has been the first solar-powered machine to use for various purposes in the coming decades and has become the forerunner of today’s modern solar parabolic plates.

The number of discoveries that followed shortly after these advances in solar technology advances only improved what followed. In 1873, Willoughby Smith discovered selenium viability, and three years later, William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans discovered that selenium produces electricity when exposed to sunlight, but even though selenium cannot produce enough power for electricity, they proved that Solid materials could convert light into electricity directly without heat or moving parts. In 1878 a bolometer was invented, a device for measuring the energy of inflammatory electromagnetic radiation. It is deserved by American astronomer Samuel Pierpont Langley. Charles Fritts a few years later, in 1883, describes the first solar cells made of a thin tile of selenium. The first commercial solar water heater was invented by Clarence Kemp 1891.

The Latest History of Solar PowerHistory of Solar Power

The year for the ensuing years was marked by the 20th Century as the advancement of solar energy utilization for electric power. Of the major discoveries in science, as mentioned above, Albert Einstein published in 1905 together with his theory of relativity and work on the photoelectric effect, mentioned earlier. 16 years later he received the Nobel Prize for the same work. In these 16 years between discoveries and rewards, scientists have promoted the development of solar cells by William J. Bailey, who used copper, through Jan Czochrals and silicon, to later development of other scientists and engineers and other materials and semiconductors (cadmium sulfide ).

An important date in solar technology in America is in 1954, and silicon appears as a semiconductor material and achieves a 4% conversion efficiency. In the mid-fifties, architects achieved the construction of the first commercial office building that uses solar water heating and passive solar design. Today, this solar system is in use and has entered the National Register of Historic Places as the first solar heating system in the world.

Over the next few years, scientists are achieving an increase in the electrical efficiency of photovoltaic cells. 1956. Efficiency was achieved by 8%, then next year it has increased to 9 and the year behind to 10%. 1960. The efficiency of 14% was achieved. Today, over 95% of all solar cells produced in the world are made of silicon.1891.