The History of Solar

Since the inception of the first silicon solar cell in 1952, solar aesthetics have vastly improved for the consumer. Today, solar technology can be easily integrated directly into each individual roof tile for a sleek and efficient home product, but there were many innovations prior that paved the way for this advancement.

Daryl Chapin is amongst these numerous innovators– notably producing the first photovoltaic cell capable of powering home electronics. Singlehandedly revolutionizing the industry, Daryl and his team ushered in a new field of alternative energy. Naturally, a solar arms race would ensue to maximize efficiency for the futurist goal of one day being able to power entire homes.

An early attempt at this endeavor was Frank Bridgers and Don Paxton’s “Solar Building”, an office building heated in the winter via a rudimentary system of aluminum panels attached to copper piping that would heat a 6,000 gallon water tank. The entirety of the building’s structure was optimized for its heating system, creating a bizarre architectural spectacle of steep roofs and incongruent lines. While this construction is comparably basic to the budding photovoltaic industry, early issues with efficiency casted doubts that silicon cells could effectively power a home, causing solar enthusiasts to briefly experiment with solutions elsewhere. Such forays included massive parabolic mirrors, further panel material exploration, and plenty of strange architectural feats.

The dream of a totally photovoltaic powered structure would not even be partially realized until almost a decade later with the Ogami Lighthouse in Southern Japan. SHARP introduced the 242-watt photovoltaic grid that powered the lighthouse at around 14% efficiency, demonstrating the capabilities of solar energy to power structures in remote areas. Following this landmark leap forward in alternative power, panel efficiency steadily rose while prices became more affordable. “Solar One” was born at the University of Delaware in 1973, a hybrid system that would serve as the model to be improved on for home solar options for decades thereafter. With each incarnation, efficiency would continue to improve to around 22% efficiency in the 2010s while prices would decrease rapidly every year. However, one problem would remain–the sheer size of the panels, often unsightly and not without their added accommodations to be made in the construction process.

Enter ErgosunUSA: the premier option for integrated solar technology and the most advanced aesthetic solution for purchase. Ergosun’s system lies flat like a traditional roof tile and powers your home efficiently as ever. Say goodbye to bulky panels and the hassle of redesigning a structure to be compatible. Finally it’s time to go solar, beautifully.