Harnessing the suns energy is the most certain and ultimate energy source. Looking at a brief history and some facts about solar energy, a glimpse of the future can be seen, a future not dependant on fossil fuels. Using the sun for its heat and energy is not a new idea. It has been around for thousands of years. The first record of sun being utilized for energy and heat dates back to 400 BC.
Solar energy was ultimately discovered to be able to convert light from the sun into electricity without heat or moving parts. This discovery laid a strong foundation for the many things that solar energy would be able to do. Over 100 years after the first solar oven was created, the first solar cell was introduced and later in 1887, ultraviolet ray capacities, causing a spark jump between two electrodes was discovered. Solar energized equipment eventually became very popular in the United States, following World War II. In 1958, the first commercial use of solar energy was used to power space exploration equipment, like satellites and space stations.
In conclusion, the achievement is not merely a step in the direction of power conservation, but it also provides a vision to the world that how the power needs for the future generation can be solved in an environmental friendly way. The stand-alone solar project can benefit the environment and reduce the global warming. You can save green by going green!
Its was first applied to use in 212 B.C., by the Greek genius Archimedes. Solar energy was used to defend the habor of Syracuse against the Roman fleet. Archimedes used a mirror or “burning mirror” as they had called it, to set fire to the ships of the Roman fleets while standing on shore (McDaniels 83). It wasn’t until 1615 when Salomon de Caux constructed the first solar device; a solar engine. His device was made of glass lenses, supporting frame, and an airtight metal vessel containing water and air.
Solar power is a relatively untapped power source which could contribute to solving the energy crisis. Solar power plants can operate as long as the sun continues to give off light and heat, and it will continue to do so for billions of years. However, solar power plants cannot be the only power source, for they do not operate at peak efficiency at night or when the sun is obscured by dense cloud cover. Solar power accounted for only 0.064% of US energy consumption in 2003, while fossil fuels accounted for 85.973%. Also, solar power production in the United States has been decreasing since 1996 (see Figure 1) (Annual Energy Review, 2003).
Solar energy is capable of becoming the world's future power supply because, it is renewable, eco-friendly, and extremely efficient when strategically placed. Solar energy is clean energy that does not affect our environment. Solar power utilizes the sun’s energy to produce electricity, unlike other sources of energy, which rely on continual mining for raw materials. Consequently, producing solar energy from the heat from the sun does not result into the annihilation of the ecosystem, compared to the extraction of fossil fuels (Bode, 2005). Therefore, with the use of solar energy, it will help keep the environment clean, thus help to combat the issue of global warming, which is a threat to the world’s ecosystem worldwide.
The Greek and Romans used solar designs. Just like the ancient people they created buildings facing the south or better side to get the sun’s rays to collect power. Horace de Saussure was a Swiss scientist that was accredited for building the world first solar collector which then made the solar panel, a huge step in the solar energy history. In 1912 Albert Einstein has explained the photoelectric effect, it was the discovery of when light shines on a metal surface it produces electrons it then discharges and carry’s waves of energy, thus making energy from the solar cells. History has come a long way, from the sun heating water to creating electricity for homes.
But before this universal shift towards solar power happens, citizens have the choice and ability to install their own personal solar power system for their private homes. After weighing the advantages against the disadvantages, the correct choice should be clear. The sun has been a candidate for a universal power source for centuries. Since as early as 1839, scientists have been researching the concept of photovoltaic cells, in an effort to effectively collect electrical power from the sun’s rays. According to a professor at the University of Oregon, the entire surface of the earth receives an average of approximately 84 Terawatts of power from the sun in a 24-hour day (University of Oregon, 2001).
More important, many of these visionaries did not just provide futuristic rhetoric but actively explored almost all the renewable energy options familiar today. In the end, most decided to focus on solar power, reasoning that the potential rewards outweighed the technical barriers. In less than 50 years, these pioneers developed an impressive array of innovative techniques for capturing solar radiation and using it to produce the steam that powered the machines of that era. In fact, just before World War I, they had outlined all of the solar thermal conversion methods now being considered. Unfortunately, despite their technical successes and innovative designs, their work was largely forgotten for the next 50 years in the rush to develop fossil fuels for ... ... middle of paper ... ... low or political instability again erupts in oil-rich regions.
This type of energy has not always been used to its full advantage and now it can be. Solar energy is the obvious choice for the United States to start using more because of its financial benefits that lead to reduced electric bills and jobs. Also solar energy is an asset because of the environmental services it allows. With having no byproducts and no waste solar energy leads to a more green world. The supporters of solar energy are very widely spread from state representative to the makers of the solar panels.