An Introduction to Solar Energy
In 1839, Alexandre Edmond discovered the photovoltaic effect—that is, the ability to create an electric current from the sun’s rays. Shortly after, in 1941 Russell Ohl invented the first solar panel cell and the first commercial panel was put out by Bell Laboratories in 1954.
Solar power starts with solar energy, which is energy produced by the sun. When the sunbeams, its energy can be stored in solar panels. These solar panels transform energy into power in two different ways: photovoltaic, which is power used for electricity, and solar thermal, which is power used for heating.
The energy from the sun is the most abundant energy source available on Earth. With just one hour of direct sunlight, you could collect enough energy to generate a year’s worth of power for the entire globe.
All you need is a cord (aka, solar panels) that’ll transform the energy from point A (the sun) to point B (electricity that can be used by your home) to power up all your home energy requirements.
The sun is the most abundant source of energy for solar panels to absorb and convert into power, but it doesn’t need to be direct sunlight. Solar panels can capture different parts of the sun’s light spectrum. So, if the sun’s not directly beaming on the panels – or it happens to be a cloudy day,it doesn’t mean the hues reflected from the sky aren’t being captured and utilized by the solar panel cells to produce power.