When Was Solar Energy First Discovered?

For centuries, humans have been using solar energy to provide vital light and electricity for their daily lives. However, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that people started to take note of the renewable energy source and its many potential uses. As early as 1762, an Italian physicist named Luigi Galvani discovered that sunlight can be used to create electricity. However, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that scientists developed devices capable of capturing and storing solar energy. These days, solar energy is used for a number of different purposes, including generating electricity, heating homes and offices, and providing light for buildings and farms. In this article, we’ll explore the history of solar energy and how it came to be.

The Rise Of Photovoltaic Technology

In the early 1800s, scientists were investigating ways to generate electricity using intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and water. In order to create a viable alternative to traditional energy sources like coal and wood, they needed a device that could store energy efficiently. In 1823, British scientist Michael Faraday discovered that some materials called ferroelectrics change shape in the presence of an electric current. This property makes ferroelectric materials perfect for use in energy storage devices because they can undergo a physical change when subjected to a magnetic field. In order to generate electricity using this principle, you need to create an electric circuit by connecting two poles with a wire. When light strikes the circuit, it can cause the wires to short-circuit, releasing a burst of energy that can be captured and converted into usable electricity.

The Discovery Of Heliogenerators

In 1831, Italian scientist Gaetano Amici discovered that light reflected off of water can be used to generate electricity. He called the process heliogeneration, and in 1873, he demonstrated that his invention could generate enough electricity to power a home. The key to Amici’s success was the use of a heliostat, which is a device that tracks the movement of the sun during the day and moves to follow it, aiming to gather as much solar energy as possible. Modern day solar technology wouldn’t be possible without Amici’s discovery, as heliogenerators are the basis of solar power generation.

The Rise Of Solar Thermal Energy

In 1861, an Englishman named James Blyth started Blyth Company Limited, a company that would become a leader in the field of solar power. Blyth Company Limited created the modern day solar thermal power plant, which consists of a central tower that heats water using solar energy. Water is then available for use in any home or business that has a hydrant system (a system that supplies drinking water). In 1883, Blyth Company Limited began construction of a 300-meter-high (984 feet) water tower that would be the world’s tallest for 20 years. This project was inspired by Amici’s success using the sun to generate electricity.

The Rise Of Photovoltaic Technology (Continued)

In 1867, Scottish physicist Charles Duncan discovered that some materials called semiconductors change shape in the presence of an electric current. Semiconductors were originally developed to be used in making electronic devices, but over the years, they’ve been adapted for use in photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells can be used to produce electricity directly when exposed to sunlight. In 1881, two Frenchmen named Alfred and Léon Marie Currier invented what is now known as the photovoltaic cell, which allowed for the mass production of solar cells.

The Rise Of Concentrated Solar Power

In the early 1890s, German engineer Julius Bauer invented the photochemical solar cell, which is capable of generating electricity even under shaded or cloudy conditions. The ability to generate electricity in all weather conditions has made concentrated solar power (CSP) very attractive to farmers, whose livelihoods depend on the weather conditions.

The first working CSP plant was built in Spain in 1967. Since then, CSP has become a valuable source of renewable energy, especially in regions where traditional wind and solar power don’t provide enough energy. CSP is also used to desalinate water, and in some places, it’s even been used to provide power to areas that lie outside the sun’s reach, like northern Sweden and the Great British Isles.

Use Of Solar Energy Today

Since the early 1800s, the primary use of solar energy has been to provide some of the following services: generating electricity (for homes, businesses, and communities); heating homes and offices (using solar power systems integrated with heat pumps); providing light for buildings and farms (using solar-powered lamps, called photolights, which are also popularly known as solar lights or sun lamps); and charging portable devices such as cell phones and MP3 players (using solar chargers). However, in recent years, engineers have developed solar power devices that are capable of providing other services, like cooling and air-conditioning, as well as water desalinization and purification. In addition, because of advances in nanotechnology, the future of solar energy looks extremely promising.

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