It is well known that a lot of research goes into the development of new technologies and products, but not always everything reaches the market as soon as it is conceived. In the case of solar energy, a lot of people would like to see it in daily use, but it is still relatively unknown among the general public. The invention of solar energy is attributed to a man named George Westinghouse, and the technology was actually patented in 1880. Before the 20th century, solar energy was mostly used in scientific applications, such as powering model ships or conducting chemical experiments, but it didn’t achieve mainstream popularity until the 1950s.
When Was Solar Energy Invented?
The history of solar energy actually begins in the 1700s, when scientists and inventors were attempting to figure out how to harness the power of the sun. One of the first recorded instances of solar energy was in 1767, when an English scientist named Stephen Gray built a solar–powered flour mill, but it was only capable of grinding out a little bit of flour at a time. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that scientists and inventors figured out how to make solar energy a practical alternative to traditional fuel sources.
Who Was George Westinghouse?
George Westinghouse is considered to be the father of modern day solar energy. He was a prolific inventor who made a name for himself as a leader in the field of alternating current (AC) electricity, which made it possible to transmit electric current of different magnitudes and frequencies (for example, high-frequency current for electrical motors and low-frequency current for lighting and small appliances). During his lifetime, Westinghouse invented or improved upon many devices and systems that are now used in everyday life, including the electric dryer, the transformer, the storage battery, and the solar cell. Westinghouse even designed and constructed a working model of a nuclear reactor, which helped to prove his theories about fission and its subsequent use in atomic energy.
What Was The ‘Solarium’?
One of Westinghouse’s most important and ground-breaking achievements was the design of the solarium, which he patented in 1880. The solarium was a greenhouse type of structure that was built on the roof of a house or other building. During the day, the sun shining through the roof would heat up the greenhouse, which in turn would provide the homeowner with some fantastic fruit and veggie produce, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants. Westinghouse even tested out his solarium in the winter to make sure that it could function using solar power alone, which it can. The inventor estimated that a home with a solarium could save the homeowner as much as 80% of their energy costs, which is quite a lot, given that electricity in the 1880s was quite expensive, even for homes that were well equipped.
What Was The ‘Gunn’?
Another important invention by Westinghouse was the gunn, which he first developed in 1881. The gunn was an attempt by the inventor to create an effective weapon that would operate underwater. Westinghouse was actually quite skilled at engineering and designing weapons, and it is said that he held severalU.S. patents for various underwater rifles and pistols. The gunn was an immediate hit upon its invention, and within a year, Westinghouse had built and sold over 500 of them. The Gunn is named after its inventor, and it continues to be used in naval warfare and other underwater applications to this day.
Was Westinghouse A ‘Nuclear Energy Pioneer’?
George Westinghouse started out as a scientific researcher who became interested in nuclear energy, largely for peaceful purposes. However, his work in the field led him to discover several methods of making atomic bombs, which he did not share with the U.S. government at the time. A number of his colleagues and associates were recruited by the government to help develop the nuclear bomb, but Westinghouse became disenchanted with the whole process and vowed to quit. He even went as far to say that he would develop a domestic energy source that would be a ‘far safer and cheaper alternative’ than nuclear power. In fact, Westinghouse was granted U.S. patent #532,042 for his invention of the nuclear reactor in 1926. The fact that he was a nuclear pioneer without openly admitting it is what got him into trouble with the government, which eventually lead to him losing his entire fortune. He did however, continue to work in the field of nuclear energy, even if it was entirely privately funded, and he died in 1938, before the potential of nuclear power was realized.
What Was Wind Power In The 19th Century?
At the time of the American Civil War (1861–1865), many inventors, scientists, and scholars began to see wind power as a potential alternative to traditional fuel sources, such as coal and oil. The idea behind wind power is to use the wind to either pump water to generate electricity, or to use the movement of air to spin a turbine and generate electricity. Unfortunately, many of these early wind pioneers never actually achieved commercial success, due to the fact that wind power is quite hard to collect, store, and transmit. It wasn’t until the 20th century that wind power started to become more commonplace, with windmills and turbines being manufactured and sold for both agricultural and domestic use. However, the technology was still quite inefficient, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that fossil fuels became available in large quantities, which led to a decline in the use of wind power. Nevertheless, wind power did find success in places like Copenhagen, Denmark, where officials invested heavily in the development and installation of wind turbines, resulting in over 300 MW of installed capacity by 2016.
When Was Nylon Introduced?
In the 1930s, another invention that changed the world was nylon. This synthetic fiber, which stands for ‘nylon artificial silk’ in Japan, is most commonly associated with the ‘New Look’ that emerged in fashion in that decade. During the 1920s and 1930s, hemp and silk were the common fibers used to make women’s stockings and garter belts, but by the late 1930s, nylon had effectively replaced both of these natural fiber alternatives. Nylon is light, strong, and long-lasting, and it is also less expensive to produce than many other common fibers. The development of nylon led directly to the development of a type of fabric known as ‘cycle clothing’. This type of clothing was designed for both men and women and was inspired by bicycle shorts and lycra tights, which were specifically created for the female body. Thus, for decades, women around the world have been wearing nylon.
Who Was Lee De Forest?
Lee De Forest is most famous for being the inventor of the radio. He was born in 1873 and attended DeForest School of Engineering, which was later renamed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – one of the first four-year colleges to grant degrees in engineering. While still at MIT, DeForest worked on developing ways to use the radio frequency for practical use. In 1901, he introduced the Phonograph Record Company, which produced the first commercially successful commercial radio system. He then went on to found the DeForest Radio Company in 1910, which eventually grew into DeForest Incorporated in 1926. This company manufactured and sold radio equipment and components until 1960, when it was acquired by Philco, which today is a part of General Electric. So, not only did Lee De Forest invent the radio, but he also founded and ran one of the first successful radio companies. In 2015, he was awarded a Grammy for his work on the invention of the compact disc.
What Was ‘Joule-Thomson’ Cryogenics?
Another important invention by Lee De Forest is the Joule-Thomson refrigerator. This innovative design is a combination of two separate technologies that achieve a low cost and high efficiency when used together. The first part of the technology, which De Forest calls the ‘molecular valve’, uses compressed helium to create a cold spot within a normal refrigerator. The second part of the technology is the ‘Joule-Thomson effect’, which is named after its discoverer, French scientist Alfred ‘Fred’ John Joule, and its American inventor, William Thomson. The Joule-Thomson effect is a physical phenomenon that occurs when a fluid is brought to a sudden stop, creating a sharp decrease in temperature.
In his 1881 paper on the topic, ‘On Further Aspects of the Joule-Thomson Effect’, Joule described the physical process that occurs when a fluid is brought to a sudden stop, creating a sharp decrease in temperature, as follows: