The History of Solar Energy
We have made use of the sun's energy since at least the beginnings of recorded history. The Greeks, Romans, and Chinese used burning mirrors to light torches for religious purposes as far back as the 3rd century B.C. Cultures as diverse as the Anasazi in North America and the Roman Empire used the sun's energy for passive solar heating in their dwellings, constructing them facing the south to capture the sun's warmth.
Modern solar photovoltaic (PV) energy was first discovered in 1839, when the French scientist Edmond Becquerel found that the energy produced in a simple battery, or electrolytic cell, was noticeably increased when it was exposed to light. In 1876, it was found that the element selenium produces electricity when exposed to sunlight, this was the first instance of discovering that a solid material could change sunlight into electricity without the use of any heat or moving parts.
Research continued throughout the early 20th century, in both the theory and the technology of photovoltaic energy. This research led to the creation, in 1954, of the first silicon photovoltaic cell by the scientists at Bell Labs.
Since that time, research into photovoltaic technology has increased dramatically, with new discoveries and inventions occurring at a rapid and an ever accelerating pace. Newer, thinner, and more lightweight cells are being designed with levels of efficiency far higher than those of even a few years ago, making photovoltaic solar energy a practical and increasingly popular means of generating electricity for homes and businesses today.
The Different Types Of Solar Energy
There are two different methods used today to harness the energy of the sun for use in our homes and businesses - passive solar heating and photovoltaic (PV) solar energy. At Solar Maximum we specialize in solutions using photovoltaic technology to harness the sun's energy by converting the sun's rays directly into electricity by the use of the photovoltaic (PV) cell - a technology that is clean, affordable, and increasingly popular.
The Affordability Of Modern Solar Energy
In the past, the barrier to installing a solar energy system has always been the cost of the technology. Today, the efficiency of the modern solar cell has been increasing while the cost of producing the technology has been steadily declining. In addition to the increasing affordability of the technology, there are now both government and utility incentive programs that can drive down the cost of your solar installation by more than 50%.