The Importance Of Solar Power

1358 Words 5 Pages
Solar power is one of the three main energy sources associated with alternative energy amongst hydro and wind. In today’s world, the need for this alternative energy is at an all-time high as fossil fuels and other conventional sources of energy are beginning to damage this planet’s ecosystem at an alarming rate. Solar energy, although not completely pollution-free, is an inexhaustible fuel source. Every hour energy from the sun is sent into Earth’s atmosphere and within this hour, there is enough energy provided and harnessed to fuel the entire planet for one year. 1Today, this solar power is utilized in a manner that only allows it to produce less than 1/10th of 1% of Earth’s total demand for fuel and/or energy. 2This planet receives approx. …show more content…
Using this same ideal when using certain materials, the radiation can be transformed into an electrical current instead. This concept is the basis for solar panels. Traditionally, the solar technology has used large crystals made of silicon, which then produces electricity when struck by solar radiation. In today’s world, this process has been ruled too expensive for wide-spread use as it is too expensive to create, and the process in which to make them is too difficult. Newer material has recently been used that unfortunately is not as efficient as the traditional silicon crystal on a large scale but is not only cheaper to make, but smaller and can be easily made into a flexible film. Copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) is the most common amongst the new solar technologies. 3Most people are familiar with the cells in which these crystals and forms are used – photovoltaic. These cells are found on objects ranging from spacecraft to handheld calculators. When the solar radiation makes contact with the cells, the electrons are pushed loose from their atoms, causing an electrical current which then flows through the cell to be harnessed for …show more content…
4This method was the main use for solar energy until 1767, when a Swiss scientist Horace-Benedict de Saussure built an insulated box made off 3 layers of glass to absorb solar heat – the first solar collector. This insulated box could reach temperatures of 230° F, becoming widely known as the first solar oven. In 1883 the first solar cell concept was introduced by an American scientist named Charles Fritts. The theory was based on the use of selenium wafers, which was then put into use in 1887 when UV rays absorbed by these cells would form an electrical spark between the electrodes. This theory was first put into use correctly in 1981 by Heinrich Hertz to create the first solar electric heater. Later in 1938, the largest milestone towards the evolution of solar energy came to light. French scientist, Edmond Becquerel discovered that while placing two electrodes in an electrolyte, then exposing it to the light, the electricity formed would increase exponentially. The most common cell, Photovoltaic, was introduced during the post-World War II when the need for alternative energy began to grow; primarily in the United States in 1954. Using Charles Fritts theory, David Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson were credited with the first usable device to convert sunlight into solar energy – Photovoltaic.

Related Documents