All over the world ancient people have adored and appreciated the sun, its warmth and energy, many ancient cultures even worshipped it. Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Native Americans sometimes built their homes in a way so that they would store heat during the day and release it at night. The Romans also used the power of the sun to heat up their bath houses.
In the early 18th Century scientists discovered that they can absorb heat from the sun using multiple layers of glass and an insulated box. Later they used the same system to warm water by using a black tank. In the early 1900’s a California man named William J. Bailey who worked for Carnegie Steel Company separates the water tank and solar collector. He placed the water tank in an insulated unit kept inside the home and the solar collector outside. His invention allowed families to have solar heated water day and night.
In 1839 a 19-year-old French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel who studied solar spectrum, magnetism and electricity, is credited with the discovery of the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon allowing light to electricity conversion. In 1876 William Grylls Adams a physicist and engineer demonstrated that electricity could be produced from light without moving parts using selenium cells.
The basis of how solar panels work is turning radiation energy (photo) into voltaic (electrical current), the term photovoltaic means light producing electricity. Photovoltaic efficiency describes the efficiency or conductivity of modern day solar panels. In the mid 1950’s Solar Panels become commercially available but the photovoltaic efficiency was very low and the cost of solar cells or solar panels was high, it was not really cost effective. About this time the US government started using solar cells to power space bound satellites.
Over the last few decades we’ve seen remarkable advancements in the photovoltaic efficiency of solar cells and a huge reduction in cost of solar panels. Today solar panels are cost efficient. We see solar powering everything from toys, cars, homes, businesses, research aircraft, space exploration equipment such as satellites and space stations and so much more.
Today going Solar is convenient and has long term financial benefits to a home or business. The sun’s energy is limitless, abundant, renewable, and utilizing the sun or solar power is environmentally friendly. At Southeast Power we are proud of our work to promote solar energy while at the same time protecting the environment. Southeast Power proudly serves the following areas in North Carolina: Garner, Wilmington, New Bern, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greenville and Fayetteville.