Solar Panel Background
Many scientists agree that the amount of energy poured upon the surface of our planet is enormous. Some go as far as saying that all energy stored below the Earth’s surface like coal, oil and natural gas equal the amount of energy provided by a just few weeks of sunlight. Mankind continues to seek increasingly efficient methods to capture this massive potential energy of the sun’s rays. One early attempt took place in Egypt’s desert over 100 years ago.
In 1913, American engineer Frank Shuman created a massive half pipe of concave mirrors used to focus the sun’s rays at a thin glass pipe containing water that hung above the mirrors. The sun’s rays heated the water and turned it to steam, which then drove gears that pumped an irrigation system. What could have turned Egypt’s barren deserts into fertile fields of crops was ultimately halted by the First World War. The project was a success but demand for the raw materials used in Shuman’s invention was too great to justify their use on a nonessential invention. Shuman’s work was decommissioned and the materials were repurposed for use in the war effort.
A century later, the world’s brightest minds continue to make giant leaps in the technology to capture the sun’s potential energy. The dream of an energy independent homeowner using photovoltaic cells to absorb and convert light to energy is now a reality. Now, with modern consumer solar panels, homeowners can reap the benefits of over a century of progress and innovation. The future is bright with solar panels available for homeowners to purchase.