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Solar for Homes

As a homeowner, solar panels can provide a secure, long-term investment that reduces both your carbon footprint and your electric bills.

Advantages of Solar Energy
Save money now on your electric bill
Increase your home's value
Decrease your carbon footprint
Lock-in energy costs for years to come

Solar for Businesses

As a business, investing in a solar PV system can have distinct financial benefits and can visually demonstrate your commitment to reducing your carbon footprint.

The Business Advantages of Solar Energy
Reduce operating costs
Decrease your carbon footprint
Lock-in energy costs for years to come

The History of Solar

AFrom the 3rd Century BC when Archimedes fought off Roman ships by concentrating the suns rays at them with brass shields (they burst into flame), through work by some of the best known figures in the history of science, harnessing the power of the sun has long been a goal of human innovation.

1839 – The Photovoltaic Effect
Edmond Bequerel, born in Paris in 1820, discovered that when two electrodes were placed in an electrolyte (electricity-conducting solution), a voltage developed when light fell upon the electrolyte. The basic principles of solar power had been uncovered.
1883 – The First Working Solar Cell
American inventor Charles Fritts developed the first solar cell, applying selenium to a thin layer of gold. This method was only able to achieve 1% efficiency, making it impractical for general use.
1918 – Accidental Crystals
Jan Czochralski, a polish scientist, discovers a method for creating single-crystal silicon entirely by accident — he mistakenly dipped his pen in a crucible of molten tin rather than an inkwell. The result was a thin thread of solidified metal. Single-crystal semi-conductors and metals became important throughout electronics — their efficiency and stability not only contributing to the development of silicon solar cells, but also crucial to the creation of transistors for microprocessor units.
1956 — 213 Truman N.E., Albuquerque, NM
In the mid-50s, engineer Don Paxton and architect Frank Bridgers designed the world’s first commercial solar building. Utilising a south-facing glass wall tilted to 30 degrees, alongside mechanical and “passive” solar technologies, the structure was well ahead of its time. Relying on mechanical solutions where computer control would nowadays be used, they achieved a remarkable level of efficiency through solar heating and thermal storage. The template that they created is still utilised in creating energy-efficient homes and commercial premises today.
1980s – Solar Hits the Mainstream
Throughout the 1980s, solar developments continued at apace. Thin-film solar cells allowed for smaller, cheaper, and more-efficient solar installations, on buildings, vehicles, and consumer items (such as hand-held calculators).
1990s – Dawn of the Grid
First grid-supported photovoltaic system is completed and installed in Kerman, California by Pacific Gas & Electric, the world’s first ‘distributed power’ effort.
2000s — Largest Residential Solar Installation Complete
A family in Colorado installed largest residential installation to be registered under the ‘Million Solar Roofs’ program. The system is measured at 12 kilowatts, providing most of the energy for the 6,000-square-foot home.
2004 – One Million Solar Roofs
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes Solar Roofs Initiative for one million solar roofs in California by 2017.
2015 and Beyond
Solar power has seen a huge surge in popularity as a renewable form of energy in recent years, largely attributable to government incentives such as feed-in tariffs.