Registered: 1352930725 Posts: 124
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Solar energy has been exploited in direct capacities, for various purposes, well before solar photovoltaic cell and module technology became the most prominent example of “solar energy technology.” Solar stills, solar cookers, sunlight concentrators, solar furnaces, solar fire starters, et cetera, have a long history of use and/or suggestion of use. For instance, there’s fairly good evidence (though disputed by some academics) that solar fire-starters have been in use in Central Asia for a fair many thousands of years. While that may not be new knowledge to many of those reading this, it may still surprise some people just how widely solar energy technologies and potential applications were explored in the near-recent time period of the 1700s through early 1900s. During that time period, there was a swell of interest in concentrating solar steam engines and cookers, amongst other things — often with the idea being that the extant coal-powered age was dependent upon the one-time burning of a resource that was ultimately limited (being the result of photosynthesis and geological processes occurring over timespans of tens and hundreds of millions of years). With all of that in mind, I’m going to highlight a couple of interesting ideas explored and prototyped by figures during that timespan — particularly those put forward by the French solar-steam-engine developer Augustin Mouchot and the American solar-thermal-train developer Frank Shuman. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/22/solar-technologies-of-days-gone-by-solar-thermal-trains-solar-powered-ice-cream-makers-solar-steam-engines/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29 __________________ Go Solar!
Registered: 1388591029 Posts: 2,881
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And then there are windmills (also a form of solar), some are estimated to be 1000 years old... and still working.
__________________ Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't! Willie, Tampa Bay