Solar power is definitely the most ecologically friendly and most desirable of all alternative energy resources. Presently yearly worldwide energy usage is around approximately 550 exajoules (523 Quadrillion BTUs) per year. Every year the earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land masses receive approximately 3,850,000 exajoules of energy from the sun’s rays. Once this is taken into account anyone should be able to start to grasp precisely why the solar energy industry is eagerly working to improve processes to harness solar power. The Desertec foundation theorizes that covering just 1% of desert environments around the world with solar PV panels could very well power up the entire planet.
Listed below is a brief background of historical solar energy facts:
– The use of solar power by humankind is not new; countless ancient civilizations have utilized it in one form or another.
– Leonardo da Vinci was actually among the 1st modern thinkers to conceive industrial usage of solar energy to heat up water.
– The French scientist Edmond Becquerel observed the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with electrolytic cells in 1839.
– In 1894, Clarence Kemp, an inventor filed and obtained a patent for the design of the world’s 1st solar-powered water heater.
– The world’s 1st solar thermal power station was built by Frank Shuman in 1913.The station that was situated in Egypt utilized parabolic trough-shaped mirrors to be able to heat water in boilers to drive a 65 horsepower engine. The engine pumped nearly 6,000 gallons of water each minute from the Nile River to adjacent crops.
– The first modern photovoltaic (PV) solar cell was designed at Bell Laboratories in the year 1954.
The following are a number of more technical solar energy facts:
– Solar devices are one of two types, active and passive. Active solar power devices use photovoltaic cells and passive devices are thermal based.
– Solar photovoltaic systems are presently the most common energy transformation devices, which make use of solar cells in modules to make light directly into electrical energy.
– Thermal based solar power systems sometimes use molten salts to hold solar energy at very high temperature because of their high specific heat energy qualities.
– The International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecasted that by the year 2060 around 33% of the world’s power demands are going to be created by using solar power technologies like photovoltaic panels, water heaters and solar electrical power stations.
– The Nokia 1610 plus was actually the first commercial solar-powered cell phone introduced by the Finnish manufacturer in 1997.
The following is a list of important solar installations throughout the globe:
– Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is a collection of 9 power facilities situated within the Mojave Desert in California. SEGS maintains the classification of being the world’s biggest solar power station having a bundled production capacity of approximately 354 megawatts.
– In most cases big solar power facilities make use of photovoltaic cells for electric power generation, simply because they are currently much more cost-effective when utilized on a large scale. The planet’s biggest photovoltaic power plant is found in Sarnia, Canada, which provides a production capacity of 97 megawatts.
– The Andasol plant in Spain having an electrical power output of 250 megawatts is the second biggest solar electrical power plant in the world.
– The world’s biggest Scheffler reflector system located in Rajasthan, India is able to cook up to 35,000 meals a day.
– The world’s biggest thin-film photovoltaic power system “Waldpolenz Solar Park” is found in Germany.
– Topaz Solar Farm, a 550-megawatt solar photovoltaic power facility that is presently being built, is going to be among the largest facilities after completion.
Solar energy facts about solar-powered flight:
– The Astro Flight – Sunrise, an unmanned air vehicle developed in 1975 was the 1st solar-powered aircraft.
– The Gossamer Penguin, created in 1980, was the 1st plane only fueled by photovoltaic cells that was capable of carrying a person.
– Helios, an unmanned air vehicle, operated in part by solar PV panels maintains the record for achieving the highest altitude of 96,863 ft, as well as a world record for sustained horizontal flight by a winged aircraft.
– Vanguard 1, an American satellite launched in 1958 was the world’s 1st solar-powered satellite. Amazingly the satellite still orbits and it celebrated its 50th birthday in 2008.
– IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is the 1st spacecraft to successfully demonstrate solar-sail technology in space. The Japanese deployed the spacecraft in 2010 aboard an H-IIA rocket.