Ever since the dawn of time, the sun has been a resource we cannot live
or do without, so its not such a shock that man has come up with the
idea of Solar Energy Essay. Solar energy had many uses. Some can be dangerous and
some, a very valuable asset to the modern world.
Solar energy is energy derived from the sun in a form of ultra-violet rays.
Its was first applied to use in 212 B.
C., by the Greek genius Archimedes. Solar
energy was used to defend the habor of Syracuse against the Roman fleet.
Archimedes used a mirror or burning mirror as they had called it, to set fire to
the ships of the Roman fleets while standing on shore (McDaniels 83). It wasnt
until 1615 when Salomon de Caux constructed the first solar device; a solar
engine. His device was made of glass lenses, supporting frame, and an airtight
metal vessel containing water and air.
This produced a small water fountain when
the air heated up during operation. This was considered to be more of a toy than
a device, but it was the first published account of the use of solar energy since the
fall of the Roman Empire (Cheremisinoff 1).
Some other use of solar energy after that was the solar roof and the solar
oven. The solar roof was thought up by Harold Hay. In a solar roof system, water
is contained in a clear plastic bag and it is placed on a black metal roof. Hay got
the idea while traveling in India on a technical aid mission for the U.
While there, he noticed that many people were living in rusty, sheet metal shacks,
which were hot in the day and cold at night. Hays plan was to remove the
insulation from the roof on winter days so that the roof would get hot, and
Replacing the insulation at night to allow the shack to be warm through the night.
Then in the summer, he would so the reverse of what he did in winter to let the
house cool at night and replacing the insulation in the daytime to block out the
heat. Then over the years, Hay and a man named John Yellott constructed a 3- by
3.7-m building using water basins as the actual roofing material.
summer, a slab of foam insulation was rolled back at night, and the water would
become cold through the night sky evaporation. Since the water supply sat
directly on a metal ceiling, it absorbed the heat from the room and kept the
building air-conditioned all day. During the winter, the movable insulation was
rolled back in the daytime which allowed for it to collect heat. This generated
enough heat into the house through the ceiling at night to keep the room
Then there was the solar cooker. Developed by Augustin Mouchot in France
and by John Ericsson in the United States in the nineteenth century. They wanted
to develop a solar cooker that not only reached high temperatures, but also was to
be used as a means of heat storage enabling food to be cooked after sundown.
Mouchot built a solar steam engine that operated a printing press in Paris in
1882. In the United States, John Ericsson invented what he called the
Ericsson-cycle which was a hot-air engine for the making of solar heat. The
suns rays would be concentrated with the use of a parabolic reflector, which was
designed to track the sun across the sky in order to keep a constant power output.
There was also the solar oven. In 1837, and astronomer from England
named John Fredrick Herschel introduced to the world a solar oven. He built a
small solar oven while on a trip to Africas Cape of Good Hope.
He constructed it
as a mahogany, painted it black and buried it in the sand for purposes of
insulation. a doubled-glazed cover, which was the only portion of the oven left
exposed, serve to limit heat losses through the top, while at the same time, letting
in sunlight. The maximum temperature of the oven was of about 240 degree F
and it was used throughout his expedition by him and his staff to cook both meat
Not all solar energy inventions and discoveries were good. Some
solar energy is dangerous. One for example would be lasers. Laser, an
electromagnetic wave that is made up of excited atoms.