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When Solar Energy was invented?

When Solar Energy was invented?

The history of solar power began in 1954, with just a few small steps, driven by scientists and inventors. At the turn of 20th-century, the space and defense industries realized the potential of solar energy. In the early days, it was a promising, but still expensive, alternative to fossil fuels. The field has grown and is today a viable and affordable technology that is rapidly replacing coal, oil as well as natural gas, in the present energy market. This timeline highlights the most important pioneers and events that led to the development of solar technology.

The Age of Discovery (19th-20th century)

The late 19th century witnessed the birth of physics with discoveries in the fields of electricity, magnetism along with the science of light. The work of scientists and engineers laid the foundation for much of the history of the solar power.

1839: 19-year-old Frenchman Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel builds his first photovoltaic cell anywhere in the world.1 His researches on electricity and light inspired later photovoltaics developments. It is the European Photovoltaic Sun Energy Conference and Exhibition gives out the Becquerel prize every year.

The year is 1861. Auguste (or Augustin), a mathematician and physicist, patents a solar motor.

1873: Willoughby Smith, an electrical engineer, discovers photovoltaic effects in selenium.

1876: W. G. Adams (professor of Natural Philosophy, King’s College London) discovers that the electrical resistance of selenium may change due to radiation either from light or heat action. “2

The year is 1882. Abel Pifre creates a “solar engine” that generates enough electricity to power its solar-powered printing presses. (pictured below)

In 1883, Charles Fritts, an inventor, designs the first solar cells made of selenium and gold. The cells convert solar radiation into electricity with a mere 1percent efficiency.

1883: John Ericsson, an inventor, creates an electric sun motor using the construction of parabolic tubes (PTC), to concentrate sunlight to generate boiler steam. PTC is still being utilized to power solar thermal plants.

The year is 1884. Charles Fritts places solar panels on a New York City rooftop.

1903: Aubrey Eneas, a Pasadena-based entrepreneur, starts 1903: The Solar Motor Company to market solar-driven steam engines for irrigation projects. The company soon fails.

1912-1913: Frank Shuman, an engineer with the Sun Power Company, uses PTC to construct the world’s first solar-powered power station anywhere in the world.

The Age of Understanding Solar Panels (late-19th-early-20th centuries)

Theoretical physics of the present has helped in gaining a better understanding of photovoltaic electricity. Quantum Physics’ description of the subatomic worlds of electrons and photons provides the mechanism through which packets of light can alter the electrons in silicon crystals and create electrical currents.

1888: Wilhelm Hallwachs, a physicist, describes the physics of photovoltaic cells. This is what we now call”the Hallwachs Effect.” Hallwachs Effect.

1905: Albert Einstein publishes, “On a Heuristic Approach to The Production as well as the Transformation of Light,” which explains how light creates an electrical current through knocking electrons away from specific metal atoms.

1916. Jan Czochralski, a chemist, invents a way to make single crystals out of metal. This is the foundation for making semiconductor wafers that are still used in electronic devices and solar cells.

1917. Albert Einstein provides a theoretic basis for photovoltaics. He introduces the idea that light acts as a packet carrying electromagnetic force.

1929: Gilbert Lewis, a scientist, coined the term “photons” in 1929, to describe Einstein’s electromagnetic energy packets.

Age of Solar Technology Development (mid-20th Century)

The lab has become no more the best place for research that is serious about the advancement of solar energy technology, based on the development the monocrystalline silicon-based cells. It’s like other technologies. It was developed through research conducted to support U.S. defense and aerospace industries. The first successful application of the technology is the space-based exploration satellite. Even though solar energy is extremely effective but the majority of the technology cannot be commercialized.

1941: Russell Ohl, a Bell Laboratories engineer, files an application for patents for the first monocrystalline silicon-based solar cell.

1947: The post-war shortage of energy has made passive solar homes popular.

1951: First solar cells made of germanium are constructed.

1954: the first solar solar panel made of silicon is manufactured in 1954 by Bell Laboratories. Although they are less robust than the current cell, still generate significant amounts of electricity with a rate of about 4% efficiency.

1955 The first solar-powered phone call made.

1956 The first solar-powered radio was launched through General Electric. It is able to operate in dark and daylight.

1958: Vanguard I, the first spacecraft powered by solar power, is launched.

1960. Car that was equipped that had a rooftop solar panel, which was powered by a battery with a voltage of 72volts. It was driven around London, England.

1961: Conference arranged by the United Nations on solar energy for the developing world.

1962: Telstar, the first satellite powered by solar energy, runs on 3,600 cells made at Bell Laboratories.

1967 The Soviet Union’s Soyuz 1 is the first spacecraft powered by solar power to carry humans.

1972: The Synchronar 2100 solar-powered watch goes for sale.

Age of Solar Power Growth (late-20th century)

The first commercializations of solar technology were spurred due to the crisis in energy of the 1970s. In the 1970s, low oil prices and slower economic development are a result of the shortage of crude oil within industrialized nations. It is the U.S. government provides financial incentives for commercial and residential solar panels Research and development institutes and demonstration projects that utilize solar power in government buildings as well in regulatory structures that help the current solar industry. Solar panels are now cheaper than ever, from $1,865 for a watt in 1956, to $106 per watt in 1976 (prices are adjusted to reflect 2019 dollars).

1973: A crude oil embargo put in place by Arab countries pushes oil prices up by 300%

1973: Solar One is built by the University of Delaware, which is the first structure to be powered entirely by solar power.

1974: The Solar Heating and Cooling Demonstration Act allows for the utilization of solar energy in federal structures.

1974: To research and forecast the market for energy In 1974, in order to forecast and study energy markets, the International Energy Agency was established.

1974: U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration is established to help promote commercialization and advancement in solar energy.

1974: 1974: The Solar Energy Industries Association is created to represent the interests and needs for the solar energy industry.

1977: Congress establishes the Solar Energy Research Institute. The institute is now known as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

1977 The photovoltaic cell is produced with a power output of over 500 kW worldwide.

1977: Creation of the U.S. Department of Energy.

1978 1977: the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), which created net metering, requires utilities to purchase energy from “qualifying institutions” that meet certain energy source and efficiency standards.

1978: The Energy Tax Act created the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and the Residential Energy Credit in order to promote the purchase of solar panels.

1979: Oil exports of Iran and the Middle East are interrupted by the Iranian Revolution, which forces oil prices up.

1979. U.S. President Jimmy Carter installs solar panels on the White House roof. The panels were later removed by the president Ronald Reagan.

1981: The very first concentrated PV system goes into operation, financed by Saudi Arabia and the United States of America and Saudi Arabia.

1981: The Solar Challenger is the first solar-powered aircraft capable of flying for large distances.

1981 1981: 1981: The U.S. Department of Energy completes Solar One, a pilot project for solar thermal energy located in the Mojave Desert, near Barstow.

1982: Construction of the first solar farm of a large scale near Hesperia located in California.

1982 1982: In 1982, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District appointed its first solar power plant.

1985: Cells made of silicon that had a efficiency of 20% were developed in the University of New South Wales which is Australia’s Center for Photovoltaic Engineering.

1985: Development of lithium-ion batteries which can later be used to store renewable energy.

1991 commercial production of the first lithium-ion battery.

1992: Congress makes the Investment Tax Credit permanent.

2000: Germany establishes a feed in tariff program that will help boost production of solar panels.

Time of Solar Cells Maturity (21st Century)

The solar energy system is complicated but sound technology that is backed by the government to make it the most affordable energy in the history of energy. The reason for its success is the S-curve. This means that while initial growth in a technology can be slow and driven by early adopters, it experiences rapid growth as economies grow allow production costs to decrease and supply chains can expand. In the year 2019, solar modules were $106/watt, but they are currently $0.38/watt. The majority of the decrease has occurred since 2010.

2001: Home Depot starts selling residential solar power systems.

2001. Suntech Power, a Chinese company founded in China is transformed into a world leading solar company.

2006. California Public Utilities Commission approves California Solar Initiative, which gives incentives to solar development.

2008. NREL records a brand new record for solar cell efficiency by achieving 40.8 percent.

2009 Inauguration of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

2009: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $90 billion for green energy projects and tax incentives. This includes loan guarantees and subsidy.

2009. China adopts feed-in tariffs that encourage expansion in the renewable energy sector.

2010 The former president Obama set up solar panels and a solar water heater in the White House.

2011: Solyndra bankrupt, investment fiasco slows down solar industry expansion

2013 The world’s largest 100 solar PV installations surpasses 100 gigawatts.

2015. Tesla unveils the lithium-ion Powerwall Battery Pack to enable rooftop solar owners to store their energy.

The year 2015 is a record-breaking one: China exceeds Germany to become the world’s top country in solar system capacity.

2015: Google Introduces Project Sunroof To Help Homeowners Evaluate the feasibility for rooftop solar.

2016 One million solar installations in the United States.

2016: Solar Impulse 2 makes the first flight with zero emissions anywhere in the world.

2016: Las Vegas (Nevada) becomes the largest American city government to run completely on renewable energy. This includes solar panels trees at City Hall.

2017: In the United States, solar energy is the most employed of all other fossil fuel industry.

2019 First installation of an floating solar farm offshore in the Dutch North Sea.

2020: The construction of a new solar power plant is more affordable than continuing to operate an existing coal plant.

2020: California requires all homes built in 2020 to have solar panels by 2020.

2020 2020: According to the International Energy Agency, “Solar is now the most powerful of the market for electricity.”

2021: Apple, Inc. announced it was creating the largest lithium-ion battery ever built that generates electricity from its California solar farm, which is 240 megawatts.



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