Solar Power Innovation

Published April 21, 2015

Solar Power: Innovation that is changing the world.

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The solar movement is real and impactful – both from an economic perspective and from an environmental one. And even though solar subsidies have changed; there are many creative and interesting ways that solar companies are providing to help reduce the cost of installation. Using these methods, you may be able to deploy a solar solution and make payments that are less than your current electric bill! By using our free quote request form, FederalSolarSolutions.com can provide you with free, no-obligation quotes to see if a solar power solution could work for you.

Solar power is made possible by photovoltaics that were discovered in 1839 by the French physicist Edmond Becquerel. He found that the electrical current in certain materials could be increased when they were exposed to light. Then, in 1905, Albert Einstein was able to describe the photoelectric effect that is the basic principle on which photovoltaics are based. The photoelectric effect is the emission of electrons from solids, liquids, or gasses when they absorb energy from light. These electrons are called photoelectrons. Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his theories on this subject.

Solar cells started becoming available in the 1950’s when AT&T Labs first developed first developed 6% efficient silicon solar cells. Over the next decade, more research was conducted and by 1960, Hoffman Electronics was able to increase commercial solar cell efficiencies to around 14%. Today, solar cell researchers have been able to develop cells that have efficiencies that exceed 20%. Solar cell efficiency is the measure of how much energy is converted based on the amount of energy hitting the surface of a solar cell. So cells today can convert more than 20% of the energy hitting them to usable electrical power.

The satellite industry began using solar cells to power satellites in the 1960’s and, in the years that followed, became the first industrial application to use solar cells extensively. The ability to power satellites for decades using solar cells has made them invaluable to many businesses that rely on satellites in support of their business practices.

Then, in the 1970’s, the energy crisis and oil embargo substantially increased international awareness of the dangers of energy dependence, which spawned an expansive interest in alternative energy sources. Research into solar power (as well as other alternative energy sources) began to expand substantially during this period. It was also during this time that Elliot Berman was able to create a far less expensive solar cell. This discovery by Berman brought the price of solar power from around $100 per watt to around $20 per watt. By reducing the cost so dramatically, solar power became much more viable.

Over the next two decades, solar power use began expanding and by the 1980’s was finding use in a wide variety of applications. The key benefit was to be able to power facilities that were not in proximity to power lines – applications included remote homes, remote facilities, railroads, off-shore oil platforms, lighthouses, and more.

Today, as the cost of solar cells continues to come down, solar power is being deployed more extensively than ever. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, 878 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity and 78 megawatts of concentrating solar power were installed in the US in 2010 alone – enough to power roughly 200,000 homes. Additionally, nearly 70,000 homes and businesses added solar water heating or solar pool heating systems. This number was double the 435 megawatts installed in the US in 2009.

If you think that a solar power solution could be right for your home or business, take the time to request our free, no-obligation quotes and find out how affordable a solar solution could be for you!

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