The first solar collector: history

The first solar collector: history

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From first solar collectorit's been a while since the latest model of compact solar thermal panel. Thesolar collector(also saidsolar thermal panel), is a device designed to convert solar radiation into thermal energy.

Thefirst solar collectorprobably dates back to Roman times but there are no official documents, at the time of the Roman Empire the potential of solar radiation was already known by means of the greenhouse effect created by the windows of the houses. More specifically, in the sixteenth century, Leonardo Da Vinci managed to expand a study of parables to concentrate solar energy, thus an ancestral project ofsolar collectorwhich over the centuries gradually improved.

In the eighteenth century, Lavoisier was able to melt platinum by administering heat precisely through the concentration of sunlight, but the invention of the first solar panel collector: a wooden pot lined with black cork, the prototype bore the signature of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure. In 1830, in England, John Herschel perfected the system devised by Saussure which gave rise to a cooking technique still used today, the solar cooking.

The one built in 1767 by Horace-Benedict de Saussure was calledHeliometer. It was the first example ofsolar collector. In detail, it was a wooden box lined with black cork, on the top of which three layers of glass were applied, placed at a suitable distance: the temperature inside the box reached 109 ° C.

If you go through the official documents, it turns out that the patent for the first solar collector was awarded to the American Clarence Kemp in 1891. The first solar thermal panel it was used for the production of domestic hot water.

Frominvention of the solar collectoryou quickly pass to the setup of thefirst solar panel. Hand in hand with the development of thesolar thermal, studies on the potential ofsolar power. The French Auguste Mouchot thought of exploiting solar energy for the production of mechanical energy, with the aim of reducing the dependence on coal of his country's industry, we are still in the nineteenth century. The Frenchman developed the first 1 kW solar electric motor. His project was very popular at the time but the economic convenience of coal was even more so.

From the late nineteenth century onwards, the sector ofsolar powerit was a continuous discovery. The prominent evolutions, in chronological order, are:
- 1878. In this year the English William Adams began construction of the first concentration tower for the production of electricity

-1885. This year, the Frenchman Charles Tellier used godssolar panelsdishes for the production of steam. In this same period John Ericsson invented thefirst parabolic panels and applied them to various solar engines.
-1891. The first commercial system for the production of hot water was patented starting from solar thermal. The patent was filed by the American Clarence Kemp.

-1897. Already a third of homes in Pasadena, California were equipped with solar devices for water heating.

-1906. This year Frank Shuman built a plant capable of producing an energy capacity of about 300 kW. The plant covered an area of ​​4,000 m2 and was located in Egypt.

From 1920 onwards, in the USA, in particular in Florida and California, the system began to spread "day and night water heater“, Capable of providing hot water 24 hours a day; it was a natural circulation system in which water was accumulated in a tank placed higher than the solar collectors plans.

-1935. The first building was built in which heating was entrusted to a series of solar collectors.

-1950. The former spread solar boilers. Since then, up to the present day, the road to solar energy has been all downhill. THE advances in the photovoltaic sector are undeniable, especially with the discovery of ever new high-efficiency conductive materials.

Video: Spherical Solar Energy Generator Rawlemon (July 2022).


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