• 7th Century B.C.= magnifying glass to concentrate sun's rays to make fire
  • 3rd Century B.C.= Greeks and Romans use burning mirrors to light torches for religious ideas
  • 1st-4th Century A.D.= bath houses had large facing windows to let in sun's warmth
  • 1700s = Swiss scientist Horace de Saussure built first solar collector
  • 1860s = August Mouchet thought of a solar powered steam engine and 2 decades later him and Abel Pifre constructed it
  • 1887 = Heinrich Hertz discovered that ultraviolet light altered the lowest voltage capable of causing a spark to jump between two metal electrodes.
  • 1891 = Clarence Kemp made the first water heater.
  • 1954 = the first solar cell capable of converting enough of the sun’s energy into power to run everyday electrical equipment
  • 1981 = Paul MacCready built first solar powered aircraft (Solar Challenger), had over 16,000 solar cells on its wings, produced 3,000 watts of power

external image 300px-Solar_Challenger_drawing.jpg
  • 1982 = drove first solar powered car
  • 1998 = invention of flexible solar shingles - converts sunlight to electricity
  • 2000 = astronauts from International Space Station begin installing solar panels on largest solar power deployed in space
  • 2001 = National Space Development Agency of Japan developed a satellite based solar power system that beams energy back to Earth - a satellite carrying large solar power uses laser to transmit power to an airship then power to Earth




There are two ways to look at solar energy, the first way is how its converted into useful energy. Passive Solar Energy which refers to the harnessing of the sun's energy without the use of mechanical devices. Active Solar Energy which uses mechanical devices in the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy for your home.

The second way to look at solar energy is the type of energy it is converted into. First, is Solar Thermal Energy, second is Photovoltaic Solar Power (voltage), last is Concentrating Solar Power.

Solar Panels


Solar panels are made of a semi-conductive material, the most common material is silicon. The semi-conductive material contains electrons, which are quite happy just sitting there. When photons (contained within the suns rays) hit the solar cells, the electrons absorb this solar energy, transforming them into conduction electrons. If the energy of these photons is great enough, then the electrons are able to become free, and carry an electric charge through a circuit to the destination. Any electrons that do not receive enough energy simply warm up, which heats your cell or panel, resulting in lowering the efficiency of the cell. The lowering in efficiency is down to two main factors and they are; that the cell is not working to its full potential, the second factor is when the electrons release heat, the panel also becomes warm, interfering with other aspects of the solar cells. The more solar cells contained in a solar panel, or solar array, means the more output you will receive. Quality cells are also a major factor in efficiency. If you purchase more expensive natural energy technologies, you are more likely to have a more efficient cell. Another factor, which affects solar panel efficiency, is location.


The solar panel is turning water warm and bringing it back down to the house. Then new water is brought back up and reheated.
Greenhouse Effect


The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth’s average temperature would be about 60ºF colder. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as greenhouse gases. Most greenhouses look like a small glass house. Greenhouses are used to grow plants, especially in the winter. Greenhouses work by trapping heat from the sun. The glass panels of the greenhouse let in light but keep heat from escaping. This causes the greenhouse to heat up, much like the inside of a car parked in sunlight, and keeps the plants warm enough to live in the winter. The heat can also soak into tiles and reradiates the heat backout.

Solar Water Heating


Solar water heating is where heat from the Sun is used to heat water in glass panels on your roof. This means you don't need to use so much gas or electricity to heat your water at home. Water is pumped through pipes in the panel. The pipes are painted black, so they get hotter when the Sun shines on them. The water is pumped in at the bottom so that convection helps the flow of hot water out of the top. This helps out your central heating system, and cuts your fuel bills. Some manufacturers have systems that do this automatically.

  1. http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-solar-panels-work.htm
  2. http://home.clara.net/darvill/altenerg/solar.htm
  3. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/greenhouse.html
  4. http://www.solar-energy-at-home.com/types-of-solar-energy.html#active
  5. http://www.topbits.com/how-solar-panels-work.html

Local Expert
-Using solar panels doesn’t pollute the air.
-Using solar panels doesn't release carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, dioxide, or mercury into the atmosphere as many traditional forms of electrical generation do.
-The solar panels operate silently, have no moving parts, and don't release offensive smells.
-Doesn’t contributes to acid rain, global warming, or smog.

-When creating solar panels the manufacturers have to use energy, which pollutes the air, creates heavy metal emissions, and greenhouse gases.
-Can't use solar energy during the night
-Can't use solar energy when it is very dense and foggy outside

If you inveset you can get 15% tax cradit
Solar can be use for heat ,power.
this is a map of the US get the most sun light

this is the samsuung blue earth it run off solar
power .

solar airplane
A low cost option, the solar electricity concept delivers high quality lighting to brighten up your homes. Solar electricity can also run radio, television and other electrical gadgets. This option also reduces your need to use batteries to run flashlights and radio.
Covering 4% of the world's desert area with photovoltaics could supply the equivalent of all of the world's electricit.
The Gobi Desert alone could supply almost all of the world's total electricity .
In addition, large solar thermal power plants can harm desert ecosystems if not properly managed. Birds and insects can be killed if they fly into a concentrated beam of sunlight, such as that created by a "solar power tower."