Building A Residential Solar Power System

One of the reasons that people sometimes hesitate to install a residential solar power system is that they're under the mistaken impression that solar power is not going to last. They may think that it's just some kind of modern fad, and that solar power has a good chance of going out of style in the near future. But in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Solar power is actually one of the few sources of power that is permanent. It goes back to the beginning of human history, and it will stay with us for as long as civilization exists.

In other words, next to solar power, the fossil fuels that we currently rely on are fleeting things. Against the backdrop of history, they'll be swept away before we know it. That's why, if you're thinking of building a residential solar power system, you're taking part in a long tradition, and you're making a statement about the importance of energy that is permanently sustainable.

Ancient Origins of Solar Energy

If you think about it, solar energy is what powers the Earth. It's what makes life possible; it feeds our whether patterns, it makes our crops grow; and it evaporates or melts the water that feeds our rivers. So, even before humans came about, the sun was doing it's work.

The Ancient Greeks were the first to consciously harness the power of the sun for light and heat. They invented the practice of building architecture specifically designed to harness the sun to create light and to heat the rooms inside of a building. This helped reduce the need for heat created through wood burning. It may not be the same as a modern residential solar power system, but it is a beginning.

Solar Power in Modern Times

The first modern versions of solar power were created in the late 1800s, when a few inventers pioneered the early versions of the systems that we use today. Although some working solar power collectors were created in England, France, and the U.S., all were too expensive to operate in the long-term, and plans for widespread use of solar power were abandoned.

The fact is that functional modern solar power depends upon the types of scientific advancements that weren't made until the early to mid 1900s. For example, Einstein's discovery of the photoelectric effect is directly applied in every modern residential solar power system.

But even when the science was there, for a long time, there was still no economic need for the development of efficient solar power systems. For much of the 20th century, we were just fine with our fossil fuel options. However, beginning in the 1970s, oil prices began to fluctuate wildly. Given the volatility of the international oil market, it was only natural that people would start looking into alternatives.

Finally, now that we have a better grasp of fossil fuels' negative effects on the environment, alternative sources of energy are beginning to make their way into the mainstream. In fact, in a few more years, a residential solar power system will no longer be considered "alternative" at all.

About the Author:
Rodney Strange is a environmentalist, writer, and contributing editor of the solar power system for home blog. To read all about solar systems for your home visit


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