Harnessing the Sun: the History of Solar Energy

Printing a journal by solar energy The Archdruid Report discusses some early applications of solar energy by Augustin Mouchot (late 1800s) and Frank Schuman (early 1900s). An overview of historical experiments and applications of solar energy can be found here and here.


cargo hopper

Cargohopper is an electric road train for package delivery in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Last month, all the energy it consumed was generated by the solar panels while driving (source). This is possible because of its very low maximum speed of 20 km/h or 12 mph. An extra solar panel will be installed on the truck in order to get the same results during the winter season.

The Flying Oven

The flying oven

That is how they call it, and they ask me what I think of it. Honestly, I have no clue.

“This research project proves a new and novel method of winter solar heat gathering. Based on February to December 2008 UK tests, a solarsphere of this type can produce enough heat to make a well insulated house self sufficient in both space heating and hot water.”


An overview of hazardous materials used in solar PV cell production. Via Treehugger.