The year that Solar Energy was invented?
The year that Solar Energy was invented?
The history of solar power began in 1954, with just a handful of steps inspired by scientists and inventors. At the turn of 20th-century the defense and space industries realized the potential of solar energy. At the time it was an attractive but expensive alternative to fossil fuels. The field has grown and is today a viable and affordable technology that is rapidly replacing coal, oil, or natural gas within the present energy market. This timeline will highlight the major people and events that contributed to the development of solar technology.
The Age of Discovery (19th-20th century)
The 19th century was the birth of physics with discoveries in magnetism, electricity and the study of light. Scientists and inventors laid the foundation for much of the history of solar energy.
1839: 19-year-old Frenchman Alexandre-Edmond Bécquerel designs one of the first solar cells to be built anywhere in the world.1 His researches on light and electricity inspired the development of photovoltaics in the following years. In the European Photovoltaic Sun Energy Conference and Exhibition award the Becquerel prize each year.
The year is 1861. Auguste (or Augustin) Mathematician and physicist, invents a solar motor.
1873: Willoughby Smith, an electrical engineer discovers the photovoltaic properties of selenium.
1876 W. G. Adams (professor of Natural Philosophy, King’s College London) discovers that the resistance to electricity of selenium is subject to radiation heat, light or chemical reaction. “2
1882. Abel Pifre creates a “solar engine” which produces enough electricity for its solar-powered printing presses. (pictured below)
The year is 1883. Charles Fritts, an inventor, creates the first solar cells made of selenium and gold. It converts solar radiation to electric power with just 1percent efficiency.
1883: John Ericsson, an inventor, develops an electric sun motor using the parabolic tube (PTC) to concentrate solar radiation to generate boiler steam. PTC continues to be employed to power solar thermal plants.
1884. Charles Fritts places solar panels on the rooftop of a New York City rooftop.
1903: Aubrey Eneas, a Pasadena-based businessman, establishes the Solar Motor Company to market solar-powered steam engines to be used in irrigation projects. In the end, the company is unable to survive.
1912-1913 Frank Shuman, an engineer at the Sun Power Company, uses PTC to build the first solar thermal power plant anywhere in the world.
The Age of Understanding Solar Panels (late-19th-early-20th centuries)
Theoretical physics of the present has helped to create a better understanding of the photovoltaic electricity. Quantum Physics’ description of the subatomic worlds of electrons as well as photons reveals the mechanism by the light-emitting particles alter the electrons in silicon crystals to create electric currents.
The year was 1888. Wilhelm Hallwachs, a physicist, describes the physics behind photovoltaic cells. This is what we call”the” Hallwachs Effect.
1905: Albert Einstein publishes, “On a Heuristic Approach to The Production as well as the Transformation of Light,” which explains how light creates an electrical current by knocking electrons from certain metal atoms.
1916: Jan Czochralski, a chemical engineer, discovers a way to create single crystals from metal. This is the basis of the creation of semiconductor wafers. They remain in use in electronics and solar cells.
1917: Albert Einstein provides a theoretical basis for photovoltaics. Einstein explains that light acts as an electromagnetic wave that is carried by a packet.
1929 Gilbert Lewis, a physicist, coined”photons”, a term coined by physicist Gilbert Lewis “photons” in 1929, to describe Einstein’s energy-based electromagnetic packets.
Age of Solar Technology Development (mid-20th Century)
The lab does not serve as the ideal place to conduct serious research into the advancement in solar technology, based on the invention the monocrystalline silicon-based cells. It’s similar to other technologies. It was developed from research done for U.S. defense and aerospace industries. The first application that has been successful of this technology was the space-based exploration satellite. Although solar energy is highly effective, most of its technology is not commercially available.
1941 Russell Ohl, a Bell Laboratories engineer, files an application for patents for the first monocrystalline silicon solar cell.
1947: Post-war energy scarcity is what makes passive solar houses so popular.
1951: First solar cells made from germanium are built.
1954 The first silicon solar cell was produced through Bell Laboratories. The cells, though less powerful than current cells, can produce significant quantities of electricity with approximately 4 percent efficiency.
1955 The first solar-powered phone call made.
1956: The first solar-powered radio was launched in 1956 by General Electric. It works in dark and daylight.
1958: Vanguard I, the first spacecraft powered by solar power, is launched.
1960. Car that was equipped that had a rooftop solar panel which was powered by a 72-volt battery. It was driven through London, England.
1961: A conference sponsored by the United Nations on solar energy for the poorest of nations.
1962 Telstar is the world’s first satellite-powered solar communications satellite, has 3,600 cells made at Bell Laboratories.
1967: Soviet Union’s Soyuz 1 is the first spacecraft powered by solar power to carry humans.
1972 1972: The Synchronar 2100 solar-powered watch goes for sale.
The Age of Solar Power Growth (late-20th century)
The first commercializations of solar technology were brought on by the energy crisis in the 1970s. The low prices for oil and the low economic growth the result of the shortage of petroleum in industrialized countries. The U.S. government provides financial incentives to commercial and residential solar systems Research and development institutes and demonstration projects that utilize solar energy in government buildings, as well in regulatory structures that help the current solar market. Solar panels are now cheaper than ever before, ranging from $1,865 per watt back in 1956 to $106 per watt in the year 1976 (prices were adjusted for the current price in 2019 dollars).
1973: An embargo on crude oil by Arab countries drives prices for oil up by 300 percent
1973: Solar One is built by the University of Delaware, which is the first structure that is completely powered by solar power.
1974 1974: The Solar Heating and Cooling Demonstration Act allows the use of solar energy in federal structures.
1974: To forecast and study energy markets In 1974, in order to forecast and study energy markets, the International Energy Agency was established.
1974: U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration was established to encourage the commercialization and advancement of solar energy.
1974 The Solar Energy Industries Association is established to represent the interests and requirements in the industry of solar.
1977: Congress establishes the Solar Energy Research Institute. It is now called the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
1977 In 1977, photovoltaic cells are manufactured in excess of 500 kW worldwide.
1977: The establishment of the U.S. Department of Energy.
1978: The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), which created net metering, requires utilities to purchase electricity from “qualifying institutions” that meet certain energy source and efficiency standards.
1978: The Energy Tax Act created the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as well as the Residential Energy Credit in order to encourage the purchase of solar panels.
1979: Oil exports coming from in the Middle East are interrupted by the Iranian Revolution, which forces oil prices up.
1979: U.S. President Jimmy Carter installs solar panels onto the White House roof. The panels were later removed by the president Ronald Reagan.
1981: The first concentrated PV system is put into operation, with funding from Saudi Arabia and the United States of America and Saudi Arabia.
1981 the Solar Challenger is the first solar-powered aircraft that can fly for long distances.
1981 1981: In 1981, the U.S. Department of Energy concludes Solar One, a pilot project to harness Solar thermal power located in the Mojave Desert, near Barstow.
1982: Construction of the first solar farm of a large scale close to Hesperia near California.
1982 1983: In 1982, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District appointed its first solar power plant.
1985: Cells made of silicon that had a efficiency of 20% were invented in the University of New South Wales in the country’s Center for Photovoltaic Engineering.
1985: The development of lithium-ion batteries that could later be used for storage of renewable power.
1991 Commercial manufacturing of the very first lithium-ion batteries.
1992: Congress makes the Investment Tax Credit permanent.
2000: Germany establishes a feed in tariff program to help the solar industry.
Time of Solar Cells Maturity (21st Century)
Solar energy is a complex but efficient technology that has been supported by the federal government to make it the most affordable energy in history. Its popularity is due to the S-curve. This means that while initial growth in a new technology has been slow due to only those who are early adopters, it will experience rapid growth as economies scale allow production costs to decrease and supply chains to grow. In the year 2019, solar modules were priced at $106/watt. They are currently $0.38/watt. Eighty-nine percent of this decline has occurred since 2010.
2001: Home Depot starts selling solar panels for residential use.
2001: Suntech Power, a Chinese company that was founded in China and then becomes a global leading solar company.
2006: California Public Utilities Commission approves California Solar Initiative, which offers incentives for solar development.
2008. NREL sets a record for the first time in record for solar cell efficiency, with 40.8%.
2009 The Inauguration Ceremony of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
2009 2009: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act offers $90 billion in renewable energy and tax incentives. It also includes loans with guarantees and subsidy programs.
2009: China introduces tariffs on feed-ins in order to promote growth in the renewable energy sector.
2010 The former president Obama put up solar panels and a solar water heater in the White House.
2011. Solyndra bankruptcy, investment crisis slows solar expansion
2013 The world’s largest 100 solar PV installations exceed 100 gigawatts.
2015: Tesla announces its lithium-ion Powerwall Battery Pack to enable rooftop solar homeowners to save their electric power.
2015. China exceeds Germany to become the world’s top country in solar capacity of the system.
2015. Google Launches Project Sunroof to assist homeowners in evaluating the viability for rooftop solar.
2016: One million solar installations across the United States.
The year 2016 is the year that Solar Impulse 2 makes the first flight with zero emissions in the world.
2016: Las Vegas (Nevada) becomes the largest American city government that runs entirely using renewable energy. It includes solar panel, trees and on City Hall.
2017 The year 2017 is the year that in the United States, solar energy employs more workers than any other industry that relies on fossil fuels.
2019 First installation of an offshore floating solar farm in the Dutch North Sea.
2020: The construction of a new solar power plant is more affordable than continuing to operate an existing coal power plant.
2020 California requires all homes built in 2020 to have solar panels by 2020
2020 The 2020 forecast is that, according to the International Energy Agency, “Solar is now the reigning king of the market for electricity.”
2021 Apple, Inc. announced that it would be building the largest lithium-ion battery in the world to generate energy from its California solar farm that is 240 megawatts.