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The Evolution of Solar Power

The ability to draw electrical power directly from the sun has long been seen as one of the most innovative and cleanest ways to power the appliances we have come to rely on.  So who first thought of it?  And how has it changed throughout the decades since its inception?  Keep reading to find out.

The Birth of Solar Power

Technically, solar power has actually been around for a lot longer than you’d think.  The Roman bathhouses used passive solar power by installing south-facing windows that would allow the sun’s rays to heat the interior.  However, solar power that produces electricity has only been around for a fraction of the time.  Bell Labs developed the first photovoltaic cell (a cell capable of converting sunlight into electricity) in 1954.  This cell used silicon that was derived from sand in order to transform light into a flow of electrons that we could use.

Commercialization of Solar Power

It took another 15-20 years for solar power to be made available for the residential market, but in the 1970s the first photovoltaic setup was installed that allowed the sun to start assisting in the powering of homes.  As time has progressed and the need for cleaner energy solutions has grown more pressing, the solar panel has undergone a number of changes in order to make it more appealing.  The photovoltaic cells are now usually arranged in a panel formation to be put on a southward-facing roof so that they can catch the most sunlight. 

Usefulness of Solar Power

Solar power has helped thousands of people cut down their electric bills, and has also made its way into portable products.  There are now dozens of flashlights, radios, and cell phone chargers that are run by capturing the rays of the sun.  Not only is this a clean energy solution, but it also prevents you from needing to bring along a change of batteries.