Thesis: Ever since the dawn of time, the sun has been a resource we cannot
or do without, so its not such a shock that man has come up with
idea of solar energy. Solar energy had many uses. Some can be
dangerous and some, a very valuable asset to the modern
I. What is solar energy?
A. Who was the first person to use solar energy?
B. When was it used?
C. Where was solar energy first put to use?
II. What are some of the uses of solar energy?
A. Solar roof
1. Who invented it?
2. When was it invented?
3. What was it used for?
4. How does it work?
B. Solar cooker
1. Who invented the first one?
2. When was it invented?
3. How does it work?
4. What is it used for?
C. Solar oven
1. Who developed it?
2. When was it developed?
3. What does it look like?
4. How does it work?
III. What are some of the dangers of solar energy(used today or otherwise)
1. What is it?
2. How does laser work?
B. Ultra-Violet Rays (UV rays)
1. Who discovered UV rays?
2. When was it discovered?
3. In what way is it dangerous?
4. How can we protect ourselves from this?
A. What are some uses of solar energy around our household?
1. List some examples
C. Thoughts on Solar energy
1. What we think of solar energy
2. Poll results
A Primitive Resource:
Solar Energy and Its Many Uses
Ever since the dawn of time, the sun has been a resource we cannot
or do without, so its not such a shock that man has come up with the
idea of solar energy. 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 wasn’t 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.S government. While there, he noticed that many people
were living in rusty, sheet metal shacks, which were hot in the day and cold
at night. Hay’s 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. During
the 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 comfortable (McDaniels 179-181).
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 sun’s 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 Africa’s 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 and vegetables (Regino 5).
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. It produces
coherent light. This means that the light produced is orderly, with all the
excited atoms making up the laser beam that is emitting their flashes in
unison. The laser often consist of polished ruby rod that has a solid mirror
at one end, and a high voltage flash tube wound around the rod. The flash
tube acts as the power source for the laser beam and the energy that is
emitted as pulse is visible light (Holsroemn 12-14).
Another dangerous solar energy is Ultra-violet rays. Ultra-violet rays
is also referred to as UV rays for short. They are energy rays that is given
off from the sun. UV rays were first discovered by astronomers in the
1960’s. It can be dangerous because too much rays can cause you to sun
burn, tan, damages your hair, and at the worst; skin cancer. You can get
skin cancer if your are not careful about how to spend and protect yourself
from the sun. One way to protect yourself is by applying sun tan lotion to
your skin every time that you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun,
especially if you are going to the beach. To be on the safe side for sure, you
should apply it everytime you are in the sun. (Rose 123-125).
There is basically a lot of solar powered inventions in our society
today. Like in our household, there are many solar equipment. There is
the solar heating, solar satellite, solar water heating, solar cooling, solar
radio, solar battery, etc. As you can see, there are so many solar items in
the world so solar is an important source. (Holstroemn 182).
We believe that solar energy is worth it. It is a good thing that our
planet has so many ways of generating energy. We have electricity, solar
power, nuclear power, propane, so many! We think that out of all the
choice of energy, we prefer solar. Why you ask, because think of what will
happen when we lose all of our
other source of energy. The sun is always here for us. Solar energy is the
only energy source that can not be controlled. We could lose all of our
electricity and still live because we can live off of solar power. You don’t
need electricity or gas to power your stove because when there is a storm,
the power can be knocked out and you wouldn’t have to worry if you have
furniture that were powered by solar. Every other power source can be
destroyed but the greatest power of all is the sun. This is one power source
that can always be depended on. The best part about solar energy is that it
is free. It can last forever.
In a poll that we had conducted around our neighborhood, we found
that only five percent of the people on our street have solar powered
products. This is very surprising to me. We had expected the average to be
somewhat higher. Mrs. Richard is one of the person who we asked that had
solar products such as: solar battery and solar heating. She believes that
everyone should at least give solar products a try because you can always
depend on it when you need it. Other people like Mr. Pham said that there
is no use to solar power because when the sky is cloudy, there is no sun to
power any of the solar product. He prefers to stick to electricity. People
have different ways of looking at solar energy so its up to them if they want
sun energy or electricity. Who knows, maybe one day, everyone will agree
on using solar energy. As for us, we still prefer solar over electricity any
Cheremisinoff, Pual N. Principles ; Applications Of Solar Energy. Ann
Arbor Science Publishers: Michigan, 1979.
Holstroemn, Isaac R. Energy From The Sun. Tab Books, Inc:
McDaniels, David K. The Sun. John Wiley ; Sons, Inc: Canada, 1984.
McPhillips, Martin. The Solar Energy. Everest House: New Yrok, 1983.
Regino, Thomas C. Solar Energy. St. Martin’s Press, Inc: New Yrok, 1986.
Rose, Harvey. Solar Energy Now. Ann Arbor Science Publishers:1982.