History of Solar Energy Essay

2708 Words 11 Pages
History of Solar Energy

Even though most people think solar energy is a recent invention, it has been around for centuries, even in ancient times. Efforts to design and construct devices for supplying renewable energy began 100 years before the height of the Industrial Revolution. Engineers and scientists worried about what would happen to the world’s nations after using up the fuel supply. Most of the environmental visionaries realized that the potential rewards of solar power outweighed the technical barriers. Solar pioneers developed techniques for capturing solar radiation and used it to produce steam to power the machines of the era. We will explore the historical evolution of solar energy, from ancient times to
…show more content…
They also began the use of greenhouses so that plants would mature quicker. In addition, greenhouses were used to cultivate exotic plants from hotter climates and to grow fruits and vegetables out of season. However, when the Roman empire fell, the use of glass for buildings or greenhouses came to an end, and would not to reemerge until the 16th century.

During the fifth century B.C., the Greeks faced severe fuel shortages and as a result they placed an increased importance on developing solar power. Builders sheltered the north side of houses to keep out the cold winter winds. The Romans covered their south-facing windows with mica or glass but the Greeks didn’t. Consequently, the homes of the Romans became much hotter in the winter than similarly oriented Greek homes. Mica and glass act as solar heat traps because they readily admit sunlight into a room and hold in the heat that accumulates inside.

In the 12th century A.D., the Pueblo Indians built Acoma, a city that utilized solar energy. The city was built on top of a plateau and was comprised of three long rows of dwelling units running east to west. Each dwelling unit had two or three tiers stacked one behind the other to allow each one full exposure to the winter sun. The walls of these dwellings were made of adobe. The heat absorbing south walls were struck more directly in the winter than in the summer. The ceiling was insulated

More about History of Solar Energy Essay