4 Fun Facts about Solar

Through Solar for All, a Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) program, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) is working with local solar contractors to design and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at no cost to income-qualified District homeowners. Here are some fun facts about solar.

Solar is the most abundant energy source on Earth.

It is one of the most reliable forms of energy and the fastest to deploy. Powered by the sun, there is enough solar energy hitting the Earth every hour to power all of civilization’s needs for an entire year. In Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, companies were able to build small solar power plants with energy storage capability on the island in a matter of weeks.

Solar power dates to over 2700 years ago.

In 700 BC glass lenses were used to make fire by magnifying the sun’s rays. Greeks and Romans use to create buildings with south facing windows to allow the sun to heat and light indoor spaces. The first silicon solar cell was built by Bell Labs in 1954.

Solar energy is used to power space crafts.

Since the 1950s, various countries have used solar energy to power their space shuttles. The first artificial earth satellite, the Vanguard 1, launched in 1958. It remains the oldest manmade satellite in orbit, logging more than 6 billion miles.

Many gadgets can be powered by solar.

With photovoltaic solar being the least expensive form of electricity, solar is used widely for small consumer electronics like calculators and watches. Dryers, radios, refrigerators, and even road signs can also be powered by photovoltaic solar.  

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