Solar Through Time

J-Tech Solar appreciates the advancements solar power has seen in recent years. An increasing amount of families are enjoying the benefits of utilizing solar energy, yet many still don’t understand the history of the science itself. This week, we’re excited to explore the journey behind the solar magic, starting from the first glimpse of solar energy to where we are now.

roman bath house

1800s – First glimpse of the sun

Humans have been using the sun’s heat for thousands of years. In the early 1800s, Romans began implementing special architecture to heat bathhouses. They found a way to trap the suns heat (up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) in their specially designed windows and walls so that men and women could enjoy steaming baths throughout any time of day.

In 1839, Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect. After years of studying magnetism, electricity, optics, and how the two relate to the solar spectrum, Edmond made a major breakthrough. Perhaps, the sun could be used for more than just heat and could be used for another type of energy as well.

1950s – Harnessing power

The modern solar panel didn’t come into existence until 1954 when D.M. Chapin, C.S. Fuller, and G.L. Pearson brought their idea to life in Bell Laboratory. Once these solar scientists completed their solar panel invention, other companies took the idea to flight. Hoffman Electronics released the first silicon commercial solar cell one year after the modern solar panel was invented. In the 1950’s, solar energy stopped looking like an outlandish futuristic phenomenon and became a practical source of energy.

1980s – Caught the public eye

Civilians took notice of solar panels and began to wonder how they might benefit from the discovery. This enlightenment allowed further funding, research, and development which led to greater advancements. The Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of the Energy Tax Act of 1978 came to be in order to protect individuals’ rights to solar power, eventually leading to the tax breaks solar users enjoy today. Without the effortless public attention, solar panels may not have made these advancements, and we may not have the access needed in order to use residential solar panels today.

home with solar panels

2000s – Everyday life in our homes

Today, it is no longer uncommon to see solar panels on your neighbor’s roof. Families have access to solar panels for use in their everyday lives and are not only able experience lower electric bills, but can also enjoy advanced tax breaks that have evolved since the 1950s. Through either easy installation on their roofs or by renting solar panels in community farms, solar energy is no longer a thought of the future.

Like all good things in life, solar energy has taken time and has gone through an elaborate journey to get where it is today. If you have more questions about how solar energy can impact your personal journey, contact J-Tech Solar for all of your solar needs.