Table of Contents

Solar Energy:

Solar energy has been used since the Greeks and the Romans, as early as 400 BC, who used solar energy for heating their homes and growing their crops in greenhouses. The modern form of solar panels were created by Russell Ohl in 1941. The key to this invention was creating the silicon solar cell.

  • Solar Energy: the concentration of sunlight being converted to energy for use in homes along with businesses. That is just the beginning.Solar_Farm.jpg

One type of Solar Energy brought about in the 1980's is
Concentrating Solar Thermal
that of CST (concentrating solar thermal). This type of energy brings mirrors into use. Have you ever had someone annoy you by concentrating a reflection of the sun off their cell-phone into your eyes? Imagine that scenario, with mirrors 100 times larger than a cell phone screen, covering 20 acres of land, now reflecting at one specific point. A computer calculates and calibrates the mirrors to reflect the sunlight at a perfect angle to a water filled boiling tower. Some "Mirror Farms" can raise that boilers temperature to 800 or more degrees, causing steam which turns a turbine to generate electricity. The picture(right) shows how incoming light is reflected at precise angles to a localized point.


Solar Panels bring about a new way to get energy for the ever increasing need of renewable and clean fuels. A solar panel, scientifically known as a PhotoVoltaic Cell, captures solar light to produce electricity. As light strikes a Photovoltaic cell, the electrolytic material within the cell becomes excited due to the energy from the light. As that material becomes excited electrons are knocked loose from the atom. Should an electric conductor be attached to this material, those electrons can be captured and concentrated, producing an electrical current. This can then be used to power other items.

The above series displays what happens in a Photovoltaic cell. Electrolytes are placed within an electric conductor(1). When light strikes the cell, the atoms within become excited from the energy of the light(2). The electric conductor captures the electrons knocked from the atoms and creates a current(3).