The Evolution story of Solar Energy

We, homo sapiens, cannot imagine our lives without the sun. Initially, we worshipped, but soon as we realised its powers we started taking a practical approach. Today solar power has become an integral source of energy. Gradually mainly people are shifting to this source of renewable energy as it not only saves money but also our planet.

Though solar power is trending now, but its usage dates back to the 7th century when humans made fire using magnifying glass with sunlight. Historians report that Archimedes used sun’s heat to destroy enemy ships. Supposedly a collection of mirror was used to create heat rays through sunlight.

It was in the year 1767, a Swiss scientist named Horace -Benedict de Saussure invented a solar collector. It was an insulted box which has three layers of glass for absorbing sunlight. It was popularly known as solar oven during that time.  In 1839, a young French physicist Edmund Becquerel discovered that voltage developed when sunlight fell upon electrolyte. And this was the major breakthrough in the evolution of solar energy. A few decades later, Willoughby Smith discovered photo-conductivity of selenium and some years later he found that this material produced solar energy. It was Charles Fritts who first designed solar cells that were based on selenium wafers.

In the year 1904, in Albert Einstein’s paper he mentioned about the relationship between light and electrons. As there was no experimental evidence many didn’t want to believe it. But was finally proved in 1916 when Robert Millikan experimented out the effect of photoelectric.

Finally the birth of solar cell happened in 1954 under the supervision of three scientist of Bell Labs- David Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson. They invented a device that converted sunlight into electrical power. After this discovery, there has been no looking back. Gradually solar power gained prominence all over the world and today it is considered one of the most in-demand renewable energy as it brings positive impact on our planet.

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