Harnessing Solar Power Through The Ages

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Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Solar power is a hot topic on everybody’s mind, as more and more houses get solar panels installed on top of their houses. Solar energy is a way of harnessing the natural resources of the world and not having to rely on fossil fuels or non-renewable sources.

Here is more about how humanity has harnessed solar power through the years.

Solar panel installation

The Early Years

It is thought that solar energy has actually been utilised for thousands of years, but these early uses were not as an energy source as we use nowadays. An early use of solar energy was to light fires and torches with magnifying glass materials.

A popular early use of solar energy was the concept of a sunroom. These used massive windows to direct the sunlight into a particular area, such as in roman bathhouses. The concept lasts to this day, with conservatories and spas utilising windows to direct sunlight into spaces that might otherwise be cold. As time moved on, solar energy began to be used for other functions but it was the invention of solar panel technology that truly revolutionised the field.

The Solar Revolution

Solar panel technology is one of those technologies that is hard to pin down to just one inventor, with a few key contributors making up the technology we see today. Edmon Becquerel determined light could increase electricity generation while Willoughby Smith discovered that selenium had photoconductive potential. This led to William Grylls Adam and Richard Evans Day discovering that selenium can create electricity when exposed to sunlight, and in 1883 Charles Fritts completed the first solar cell made from selenium wafers.

Nowadays most solar cells are made from silicon, which was developed in 1954 by Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson. These cells could convert sunlight at 4% efficiency, which is minor compared to the technology nowadays. In this modern age, solar panels are everywhere. We have shot them into space, powered whole buildings off them and even powered aeroplanes using solar energy.

The technology continues to develop, becoming more efficient and a legitimate source of energy that all can now embrace.

Eco Grants From UK Energy Management

Luckily solar panels don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get installed on your property. In fact, you may be eligible to get free energy-efficient solutions installed on your home. Through UK Energy Management, we utilise ECO 4 funding to provide our customers with 100% free solutions for their homes, including solar panels.

They provide your house with a renewable energy source which will keep your bills down and help to reduce your carbon footprint. As well as panels, we can also help with the funding and installation of heaters, insulation, smart controls and more!

If you’d like to find out if you’re eligible for a solar energy government grant, contact us today.

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