The Physics Of Solar Energy

998 WordsNov 16, 20154 Pages
Solar energy dates back to 1839 with a French physicist by the name of Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel. His experiment of ‘illuminating two electrodes with different types of light” marked the birth of solar energy. Years later, William Grylls Adams, along with student assistant Richard Evans Day, discovered that converting solar energy into electrical energy is possible without the need of heat nor moving parts. Unfortunately, their panel couldn’t create enough power to run any electrical equipment. Three men - Calvin fuller, Daryl Chapin, and Gerald Pearson - continued solar study in 1959 and influenced a new era with their discovery of the silicon solar cell which had capabilities of powering small devices. Three years later, solar cells became available for sale, though the price cost an arm and leg at $300 per watt. On the bright side, novelties such as toys and radios were powered by solar panels. Fast forward a few year and satellites also began running on solar power as if it were a standard. A discovery by Exxon allowed solar to be available at an inexpensive price in the early 70’s, dropping from $100/watt to an estimated $20/watt. In addition, oil-rigs used solar energy to power the lights on rigs. Within the following two decades, solar panels were ‘used in their microwave towers to expand their telecommunication” in Australia. Desert areas also looked to solar energy as a source to water soil, since line-fed power wasn’t an option. Solar energy isn’t the leading

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