A Brief History of Solar Panels

A Brief History of Solar Panels

The use of the sun as a source of energy for heat, lighting as well as drying of clothes over the years have proven reliable. Solar power technology is not a recent innovation. It dates back to the 1800s when solar panels sole goal was to heat water and produce steam to run heavy machinery. 

In the last 200 years, energy preferences have gradually changed. People took it upon themselves to find out how the sunlight harvesting and transformation process into electricity occurs. It is exciting how solar energy has made it this far.

Yet, this journey didn’t happen overnight. It took great a set of minds and a good number of years for you to sit and enjoy this mobile and state of the art technology. Alexander Edmond was the man behind solar energy. He ascribed that shining beams of light on a piece of an electrode immersed in a solution that is conductive results to the creation of an electric current.

The solar systems present today, sold by Aztech Solar, boast of being the most advanced. Or even better, with the recent manufacturing of solar batteries, this technology allows you to comfortably handle your electrical operations independent from traditional forms of energy. Technological advancements of the solar industry in Australia had a set of challenges as well. In the mid-twentieth century, there was exponential expansion and improvement of the motor vehicle industry. These motor vehicles needed fuel thus major investment in the production of petroleum and coal. This boost in the petroleum and coal industry put a damper on green and clean energy that we get from solar power.

How Solar Panels Work

How Solar Panels work

Light processing compounds from particular metals bring about the emission of electron cathodes on the surface of the material. Light arresting compounds cause the materials to receive electrons. A calculated combination of both compounds causes electron configuration by easy flow through a conductor. It is through this process that electricity is produced.

This a summary of the common photovoltaic (PV) effect which means the conversion of sunlight to electricity in the form of protons.

Below is a round-up of the great innovations in their order:

  • 1839 – Edmund Becquerel, a physicist from French discovered the photovoltaic effect. This concept tried to explain the process through which generating of electricity uses sunlight.
  • 1873 – An prolific English engineer, Willoughby Smith realised that photoconductivity was possible when selenium was in its solid-state. It led to a discovery by a Natural Philosophy Professor William Grylls together with Adams Richard Evans Day three years later. He discovered that precise illuminating of an intersection between selenium and platinum results to a photovoltaic effect.
  • 1878 – Augustin Mouchot shocked the world with the invention of a solar-powered generator which took place at a Universal Exhibition in Paris, France. He achieved this with Thomas Edison’s phonograph.
  • 1883 – Unveiling of the first photovoltaic cell. It had a lions’ share of efficiencies but still an American, Charles Fritts who used selenium placed on a thin film of gold.
  • 1905 – An innovation based on photoelectric effect technology. With the recognition of seminal paper on the photon theory of life-giving him a win in the Physics Nobel Prize later in 1921.
  • 1918 – A crystal silicon invention by Jan Czochraslski that led to the creation of silicon-based cells.
  • 1954 – There was an invention of the first photovoltaic cells by Bell Labs who are also responsible for the inventing of mobile phones and later on modems. They received the credit of being the first to manufacture a device that can transform natural sunlight into electrical energy. Their work forms a basis for the solar technology used today.
  • 1955-60 – Hoffmann Electronics are responsible for creating a chain of solar cells with increased efficiency. 14% to be precise.
  • 1983 – Production and installation of PV grow globally exceeding 21.3MW. 
  • 1985 – NWS University, photovoltaic engineering headquarters makes headlines with 20% silicon cells efficiency.
  • 1992 – German engineers break headlines by launching the largest renewable energy program in the world. Intending to achieve 25 GW at the latest by 2011, Australia makes known a new renewable energy target less than 10 years later.
  • 2013 – Construction of a 579 MW all solar power station in California, USA. Besides sitting on a 13 square kilometres, it was home to a whopping 1.7 million solar panels. It was completed in 2015 and was considered the largest solar power station in the world.
  • 2015 – Tesla solar pack unveiled to the public. That year alone, more than $US800 million was made.
  • 2016 – Both Tesla Powerwall and Tesla Powerpack released in Australia and offered for sale by Aztech Solar.
  • 2020 – Sell of REC Alpha Series (375W) by Aztech Solar in Australia.
Future of Solar Power

Future of Solar Power

For history to exist, there is always a future. As per the global trends, there is much potential for technological advancements of solar and power energy.

  • Since the 2000s, the photovoltaic solar-based system manufacturing system has brought about a whopping 40% annual growth in Australia.
  • European Union estimations infer that solar-based PV energy could project up to 13% increase.
  • Thousands of jobs created for both citizens and non-citizens annually correspondence of every 10 MW.
  • Last year alone, solar PV energy produced could comfortably supply an entire state with its electricity requirements.
  • As compared to other forms of energy like gas and petroleum, solar is 90% environment friendly. This arrived at by because there are no harmful emissions to the environment.

Massive incorporation of solar energy into the current energy fields will ensure user friendly and affordable energy thus reducing electricity importations.

Not only in Australia but also around the world, solar power has rapidly developed over the years. The potential need for using energy from the sun to supply electricity needs is increasing exponentially. 

There are several myths associated with the very existence, inventions and consumptions of solar energy. Solar is affordable and environmentally friendly when compared to other forms of energy generation and it is the most preferred means of electricity by Aussies. 

Ultimately, solar panels let you generate power near the point of use. Unnecessary movement costs of travelling with the quest of distributing electricity to remote areas are void. If you want to go solar, Aztech Solar is a phone call away. 


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