The idea of solar power goes way back. Some say that solar energy was used by humans as early as the 7th century. It wasn’t that advanced back then but using the sun’s energy to light a fire with a magnifying glass and using solar power to light torches for religious ceremonies was quite common back then.
Solar energy in the 1950s
The 1950s hold great importance in the history of solar energy and solar panels. The first solar cell, which was able to convert energy into electricity was developed by scientists at Bell Laboratories in 1954. The original silicon cell had a 4% efficiency rate.
Solar energy in the 1970s
Solar energy was the center of attention in the 1970s since the outbreak of the oil crisis. The citizens became concerned about the threat to the environment due to the increase in the number of factories and industries. Not to mention the rise in the prices of fuel.
It was in the 1970s that NASA deployed stand-alone power systems in remote areas of the world. After the oil crisis, oil companies started realizing that oil would be too expensive in the future, they would need an alternative.
Solar panels were installed on the roof of the White House in 1979. Though the price of the solar panels was still a recurring issue, it was through funding that Dr. Elliot Berman developed a cheaper solar cell that would be more cost-effective for the people.
Solar energy in the 1980s
This decade was marked by the advancements and success of solar energy. ARCO became the first- panel manufacturer to hit 1 MW of yearly production. Through endless amounts of hard work and struggles, ARCO came to be known as the Solar World.
In the same decade, they released the world’s first commercial thin-film power module. A few years later, they were able to maintain a 15.9% efficiency rate. This was a big accomplishment after years of endless struggles.
Solar energy in the 1990s
By this time, people had been well aware of the concept of solar power and solar energy. Not only was progressed in the fields of solar energy was rapidly increasing, but people had started to convert to solar energy for less cost. Effective photoelectrochemically cells were developed in 1991.
President George Bush gave the initiative to launch a National Renewable Energy Laboratory. By 1992, the efficiency rate had reached about 15.89%. The government funding had made that happen and a laboratory was formed.
The idea of Solar Housing
The ‘solar house principle’ involved three main design elements. The first solar homes used a narrow, stretched-out plan that allowed most living areas to face the south. That design provided maximum exposure to the sun. In the second idea of solar housing, the southern façade was composed principally of glass to allow the sun’s rays to provide energy-efficient light and heat to interior rooms.
Thirdly, the architects carefully determined the roof overhang so it could be used to block the direct sun, and keeping the rooms from overheating. It would allow maximum warmth from the winter sun to reach the interiors.
The scientists were keen to experiment with solar panels. They wanted to see if it could be used to convert sunlight into heat. These were placed on the roof for maximum exposure. The devices were made in such a way as to absorb maximum radiation in the air, water or a chemical medium.
Solar Housing Today
Believe it or not, Solar Housing has been one of the greatest inventions of history. Not only does it help to converse plenty of energy but it has been quite beneficial for the people who use it. House owners who install photovoltaic power systems gain plenty of benefits such as a low cost of electricity and more efficiency.
Though the idea of solar housing may be the new invention that needs to be talked about more often, it can be said that it isn’t the most economical choice. The installation itself can be a pricey process which is why fewer people opt for it despite knowing a lot about it.
Besides that, there are also maintenance and operating costs. Inverters and batteries can be a hefty purchase that not many people in today’s world can afford.
Putting all that aside, solar housing can be the very thing that can help change the climate, or at least contribute to it. Solar energy is cost-effective in a way that there can be plenty of ways to conserve it. If people come up with better ways to store all this energy, it can not only be good for the environment but also good for future generations.
Saving this energy and using it for resources can help us plan better for tomorrow and help us to a more eco-friendly environment. All things considered, solar panels and solar housing are a great start but still need to be worked on if we are looking for a better future.
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