So where did it all began? There would be no facts about solar energy sans knowing the history behind how it all came about. Read on about the interesting history and facts about solar energy.
So here now are some facts about solar energy and it all began in 1838 when Edmund Becquerel published some data about the nature of substances that transformed light into energy. Though they were considered impressive, they weren’t persisted.
In 1860 to 1881, the first man ever to patent a design for a motor operating on solar energy was Auguste Mouchout. He was awarded a medal for designing a gadget which changed solar energy into automated steam power and later used the first ever steam engine. Then, Auguste attached the steam engine to a refrigeration tool, demonstrating that the rays of the sun could be used to make ice. He was able to do all these because he received funds from a French royalty.
But alas, Mouchout’s cutting-edge research was only short-lived. This occurred when the French revised a less expensive deal with England for the supply of coal and upgraded their system of transportation for their delivery. As a result, Auguste Mouchout’s project in looking for an alternative wasn’t anymore regarded as a top priority, thus, the funds he received from the French monarch was also stopped.
In 1868 to 1888, an American immigrant from Sweden dismissed Mouchout’s invention and also formulated a solar powered steam engine, very much the same to Mouchout’s design.
In 1873, A British man named Willoughby Smith explored and tested the use of selenium solar cells when he found out about its sensitivity to light whilst experimenting the material for sub aquatic telegraph cables.
During 1876 to 1878, William Adams wrote his first book about solar energy entitled: A Substitute for Fuel in Tropical Countries. Together with his student named Richard Day, they tested the use of mirrors and they were able to electrify a 2.5 horsepower steam engine. Even up till now, his design known as the Power Tower concept, is still being operated.
Five years after, in 1883, Charles Fritz transformed the sun’s rays into electrical energy. His photovoltaic cell had a conversion rate of only 1-2%. Yet another great breakthrough in the history of solar energy.
A Frenchman, by the name of Charles Tellier, who was seen as the Father of Refrigeration, examined and tested with a non-concentrating solar motor in 1885-1889. Tellier established the first ever solar energy system for warming household water at his very own rooftop. Still, his passion to follow his interests in refrigeration influenced him to give up his experiments regarding solar power.
Still, history and facts about solar energy carried on into the 20th century when in 1892-1905, Aubrey Eneas actualized the first Solar Energy company which was named The Solar Motor Co. He sold the first Solar Energy system for $2, 160 to Dr. A.J. Chandler from Mesa, Arizona. Unfortunately, it was broken only less than a week later by a tornado. Then, a second one was also purchased by John May, but even that too was ruined by a rainstorm afterwards. Eventually, this led to the downfall of the company.
By: Phoebe Elle