The history of solar energy began a long time ago and the idea of harnessing the sun’s power has been introduced before. While sleek solar panels gracing modern rooftops might seem futuristic, the story of solar energy stretches back millennia, revealing a fascinating journey of human ingenuity and innovation. Let’s embark on this historical odyssey:

Ancient Sun Seekers:

  • 7th century BC: Evidence suggests early civilizations used magnifying glasses to concentrate sunlight and start fires.
  • 3rd century BC: Greeks and Romans employed reflective mirrors to ignite torches for religious ceremonies, showcasing the potential of solar thermal energy.

Paving the Way for Photovoltaics:

  • 1839: French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovers the photovoltaic effect, laying the groundwork for converting sunlight directly into electricity.
  • 1883: Charles Fritts creates the first solar cell using selenium, marking a significant milestone in photovoltaic technology.

From Labs to Reality:

  • 1954: Bell Labs unveils the silicon solar cell, a breakthrough offering significantly higher efficiency than previous models.
  • 1960s: Space exploration ignites the use of solar panels to power satellites, demonstrating their reliability in harsh environments.
  • 1970s: The oil crisis sparks renewed interest in solar energy, leading to the development of more affordable and efficient panels.

The Modern Solar Boom:

  • 1990s-2000s: Technological advancements and government incentives drive down costs and propel widespread adoption of solar panels.
  • 2010s-present: Solar energy experiences exponential growth, becoming a mainstream source of clean and sustainable electricity.

Looking Ahead:
The future of solar energy is bright, with ongoing research focused on:

  • Cost reduction: Making solar panels even more affordable and accessible.
  • Efficiency improvements: Pushing the boundaries of energy conversion rates.
  • New technologies: Exploring innovative materials and designs for flexible, integrated solar solutions.

From ancient sun seekers to modern energy solutions, the story of solar energy is a testament to human innovation and our evolving relationship with the sun. As we continue to harness its power, we pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future for future generations. Summit Energy is dedicated to educating everyone about solar energy and bringing solar solutions to the New Hampshire community. Contact us if you want to learn more about how solar energy could benefit you and all the affordable options we have for you.