Since the dawn of time, man has attempted to harness nature. It’s something of an obsession. We’ve cultivated crops, domesticated animals, built cities, dug up fossil fuels, and even landed on the moon. But, the most common and powerful source of energy at our fingertips has been ignored by many executives and innovators for far too long.
Until very recently, solar power has been a passing fad that only the most die-hard of green energy converts and NASA would tout, and yet the technology never died. It continued to develop, to innovate, and to become more efficient.
The first solar cell was created in 1941 by an enterprising American working with silicon named Russell Ohl. It’s been 70 years since that first breakthrough, and solar technology has come a long way.
Cars have been built with solar cells
By GoShow (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Houses have been taken off the energy grid with solar and wind energy sources. You can go out right now and buy your very own solar energy kit and start tapping into that the power of that great big orb in the sky.
With the world realizing with increasing urgency that our traditional energy sources just aren’t cutting it any longer, solar is finally coming into its own. This is a soon-to-be multi-billion dollar worldwide industry.
And, with the right tools and knowledge in your back pocket, you can be at the forefront, heating your water, powering your garden lights, or even bumping your entire home off the energy grid once and for all with green energy.
And it all starts with knowledge – the basic facts about how this innovative technology actually works and why you haven’t heard nearly enough about it in the last decade as our oil prices have skyrocketed.
It’s Not Just Solar Cells
Even if you know nothing about how solar energy works, you’ve probably heard about or seen those foil-lined, shiny solar cells that sit atop businesses and schools. These photovoltaic (PV) cells are just one form of technology at our fingertips used to convert the sun’s rays into a viable form of energy for our homes, electronics and cars.
But, with the right technology, the sun can be used for all sorts of other energy transference. The dream of converting your entire home to solar dependency doesn’t have to be out of reach. Ignore the critics that say it’s a passing fad or that the savings take too long to manifest.
Other technologies exist that provide opportunities to save money, and there are many methods available to do your part to minimize your carbon footprint. We’re talking about:
- Solar hot water
- Solar collectors
- Active solar space heating
And that’s just the solar side of things. You can also boost your natural energy sources by utilizing wind power and by cutting back on your current consumption rates.