Although solar power is a relatively new concept, humans have been harnessing the power of the sun for centuries. From using magnifying glasses to start fires, to using mirrors and glass to generate warmth, mankind has been aware of the sun’s power for a very long time. However, the modern solar panels we see today are a little bit more involved. In this article we’ll explore when solar panels were invented, as well as several solar power milestones along the way.
When Were Solar Panels Invented?
In 1954, three employees of Bell Labs created the first silicon solar cells that converted sunlight into energy, and these employees were the first to discover that these silicon solar cells could use sunlight to power electrical devices for hours a day. This was a big breakthrough from previous solar technology, which mainly consisted of selenium.
Important Solar Events
1958: The Vanguard Satellite I was launched into space, becoming the first spacecraft to use a single-watt solar panel to power radios. By 1964, NASA had spacecraft that were entirely powered by solar systems.
1973: The University of Delaware built Solar One, the first solar residence that generated solar power and used it at night.
1979: President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House, marking a turning point in public awareness about solar energy. President Barack Obama was the second US President to have solar panels installed at the White House in 2010.
Solar Power Today
Home solar systems are much more affordable today than they were in decades past. We now know how important it is to slow climate change, and the government has created several programs and tax incentives designed to encourage homeowners to invest in solar systems.
In the past, oil and gas crises have demonstrated the need for the general population to have access to free and renewable energy. The US imports some of its oil from other countries, and instances like oil embargos created soaring prices, depleting supplies for consumers across the country.
As you can see, although solar panels are a fairly recent invention, the history of solar power goes back quite a way, and its role in our society continues to become more important as we try to slow climate change. For more information, or if you have any questions about solar panel installation, please contact our team at Green House Solar in NJ. You could also visit our website at: https://greenhouse.solar/