Solar energy has been used since ancient times, when primitives found the sunlight could actually change not only the temperature of things but also their state. Even before it was discovered how to make fire, people used the reflection of sun through a piece of glass to cook. This technique was also implied for multiple purposes during time, including even war strategies to defeat the enemy ships when they were getting close.
Even during modern times, solar energy is used in many houses without any device needed. For example, when people sun-exposed clothes to dry them off. This is a primitive form of using solar energy. But, how solar panels were invented to produce electricity?
To obtain this awesome technology several steps were taken. First of all, the photovoltaic effect was discovered in 1839 by the French physicist Edmond Becquerel, while he was experimenting with a cell made of electrodes. He realized when the cell received sunlight it produced more energy.
After this great discovery, photoconductors were following in 1873, in the hands of Willoughby Smith and this was enough for William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day to start experimenting with the photovoltaic principle applying it to selenium. They could actually prove that cells were able to produce electricity when they were exposed to light.
But it wasn’t until 1883 when American inventor Charles Fritz developed the first selenium solar cell. Selenium was replaced later for silicon, until nowadays. But this was the first time that solar energy was produced by using cells.
Solar energy production was not a one-person thing. Many scientists contributed to this technology which is currently improving in modern times and more advances and discoveries in this area are found every day in order to implement solar energy as the main source of electricity worldwide to help a greener environment.
This technology is still being discussed and a bit rejected by many. But every day more and more people and even governments are finding that solar energy is the best and cleanest way to produce energy, in addition to the economic contribution since periodical expenses are not required.
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