At one point, the Earth provided us with everything we needed to survive. You might think that the concept of harnessing the power of the sun for our uses is relatively new but it's actually been done for nearly two hundred and fifty years. Now you will find many properties with solar paneling on the roof or even a set of panels in the yard. But it was a Swiss scientist named Horace de Saussure in 1767 who is credited as building the first solar collector.

Horace de Saussure

When you look at the different ways that we have used the sun, the history of solar technology can actually go back much further. By the seventh century BC people had already discovered that you could concentrate the heat of the sun using glass to start fires. Now you will still find kids in parks around trying to burn ants by using a magnifying glass this way.

What we now mainly use solar power for is for it to be converted into electricity. You will find that there are everything from homes to factories that are powered entirely by solar panels. It was discovered in 1876 that selenium could produce electricity when exposed to light. The first commercial solar water heater than came in 1891.

Once the technology was introduced into the scientific world, it was only a matter of time before people would be using it for more practical things. The 1950s brought us the first commercial office building that made use of a solar water system. (Research more options for energy efficient water heaters and boilers by clicking here for more information). Now, whether you're working in a marketing firm or as a lawyer you might find that your building is saving energy and funds this way. The tallest skyscraper built in the 1990s in New York City even included solar technology.

There are now many different applications of solar energy that are being used throughout the world. You will find it commonly included in modern architecture and urban design as well as in agriculture and horticulture. Water heating, cooling and ventilation systems are a large percentage of the energy that is being used in buildings today and some of this can be converted to solar. If you're running an office or building a home from the ground up than you might want to think about what things that you can do to incorporate solar power into the design.

There are many benefits to solar energy. It is a renewable resource and the creation of this energy requires very little maintenance. This is a silent producer of energy and it can be used in most areas around the world throughout the year.

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