Monday, May 08, 2006

Solar Panel History

What is a Solar Panel?

A Solar Panel is a device consisting of flat-shaped collection of solar cells or thermal collectors that is connected to each other and is intended to convert solar energy into heat or electric power.

Solar Panel as the name denotes is a gadget intended to gather and capture the energy from the sun. The solar cells are also referred to as the photovoltaic cells. The term photovoltaic means light and electricity.

History of Solar Panel: Its Invention

Since the early times, man has seen the great potential in the sun as an enormous source of power and energy. And in the course of history, he has devised means to tap into this great energy source in the heavens. Indeed, the sun is an ideal power giver: the solar energy is ever-flowing and inexhaustible and free from creating pollution.

In ancient Europe, the Romans and Greeks realized the vastness and availability of the power from the sun, and they used this power through the designs in their houses. They also used solar energy to compliment the available means of energy then, which was twigs, logs and lumber for burning.

During the period of the industrial revolution, scientists and engineers searched to tap on the solar power as an effective alternative to the coal-dependent steam engine.

Auguste Mouchout is the inventor of the first solar motor – in the early 1960’s he was able to invent a steam engine that will run on solar energy. But because coal was becoming a cheap source of energy, his invention as an important landmark in the Industrial Revolution history came and went unnoticed.

John Ericsson in the United States is one of the pioneers in the development of solar power. He is the inventor of the parabolic trough collector, design still in use until today.

In 1921, Albert Einstein’s research on the photoelectric effect garnered for him the Nobel Price in Physics. The creation of energy from solar cells is the concept of the photoelectric effect.

In 1941, Russell Ohl is awarded the patent for the modern solar cell.

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