Did somebody say: "Solar..."?
What was the first thing
that came to mind?
It depends on how old you are and where you grew up.
If you're like us, growing up on the east coast, you watched Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, Skylab, and
Apollo dock with Soyuz then it's probably those shiny purple solar cells that power calculators and sidewalk
lights, and so much orbiting hardware. The industry refers to these cells as "photovoltaic" or PV for
If you're older or grew up in more rural surroundings, it may bring those and additional recollections of
warmth, light, growth, life, cleanliness. Southern exposures, barns, greenhouses, free hot water; and the need
to avoid too much, shade trees, awnings, overhangs. And we all know it drives the wind and the rain. Agriculture
is by far the largest "consumer" of raw solar energy.
When the realization came, it was undeniable.
Solar energy is everywhere. All we had to do was to harness it. With a clear concept of energy flow
firmly in hand, the task was to develop a machine to do the the job efficiently and reliably. It all
started with a quick calculation of value.