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Our modern world runs on electricity. Most of us consider that Ben Franklin “invented” modern day electricity when we think back to school books showing drawings of him and his kite with a key and lightning. Electricity, however, wasn’t so much invented as it was discovered, harnessed, and put to use.

Over the years names like Tesla, Westinghouse, Watt, Ampere and Ohm contributed to the rise of commercial electricity that powers the world. Coal factories, for a long time, became the main way people got their electricity. However, coal was and is dirty, polluting the planet. Smart people were able to find that the sun’s rays could be converted into electricity– a cleaner way than coal, for sure. Thanks to solar panels, solar power is viable today.

Did you know that the amount of solar energy coming from the Sun in one hour’s time is more than enough to provide all of our planet’s energy needs for a whole year?

Back in 1839, a French physicist named Edmund Bequerel noted that certain materials produced small amounts of electrical current when exposed to light. Many years later, Albert Einstein expanded the world’s knowledge about the nature of light and “the photoelectric effect,” leading to the emergence of primitive photovoltaic technology. In 1954, Bell Laboratories built the first photovoltaic module, used as a solar battery. Remember the 1960s, when the space industry really took off? Technology was put to good use to use solar energy to help power various spacecraft. In the 1970s, there was an energy crisis. Photovoltaic technology then moved from space to non-space applications, such that solar panels on rooftops started to become ubiquitous.

Today more than 10,000 homes in the U.S. utilize solar power systems for electricity, and that number is continually rising. One square foot of solar panel typically provides an output of 10 watts of power. Have you been thinking of getting solar panels for your home or business? Call GR Solar Solutions at 915-581-0461 and ask as many questions as you’d like.

“Space, the final frontier…” are the words used in the famous TV show Star Trek. All you have to do is go outside and look up toward the stars and there it is: space.

Right now, we all tend to think of things on our planet. After all, space travel is not available to the majority of people on Earth. Only a select few have had the honor to venture “up there.”

However, what if space, the final frontier, became used for something more than just a research space station and some satellites? What if space could be utilized for, of all things, harnessing solar energy to supply electricity to people on Earth?

Think about it this way: here on the planet we’re living on, we deal with sunrises and sunsets daily. Solar panels exist in places where it gets dark, right? But, what if solar panels were placed in space where the sun never sets? Interesting idea, right?

This concept of putting solar panels in space to collect the sun’s energy to then send solar power to people on Earth could very well become “the next big thing.” As a concept, for a long time it was just too expensive to make it work. But over the years, teams of scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs have used their collective brainpower to come up with ways to make it economically viable.

How would the concept actually work? Modules would be launched into space where they’d end up in geosynchronous orbit. Mirrors, solar panels, and converters turning sunlight into electricity would work together to then beam microwaves to receivers on the ground (of our planet) where they’d be re-converted back into electricity and utilized by people on Earth.

How much would a solar power plant in space cost? All together, it would probably cost $5 billion dollars. Could this become a reality in the coming decades? Yes, it could. We shall see…

If you’ve ever shopped at Walmart (and most of America has) then you’ve probably noticed how their newer stores differ from their older ones. For instance, newer Walmarts often have a lot of skylights letting in natural light from above. This means they don’t have to spend as much money on light bulbs and electricity. It’s nature’s way of lighting the aisles. The sun not only provides light, but it also helps make electricity. Solar power is popular these days.

Interestingly, corporate America is getting better at utilizing the sun to ultimately save money. For instance, many corporations are installing solar panels atop the roofs of their buildings because they recognize solar energy as a good investment in more ways than one. Not only does solar energy save them money on their electric bills, but it’s also a clean energy that’s good for the environment. Consumers appreciate knowing that the corporations are doing their part to care about the environment by utilizing solar energy.

Consider the statistics. Over 1 GW of solar power is being utilized by corporations these days, according to the Solar Means Business 2016 report by The Solar Energy Industries Association. To give you an idea of how much 1 GW is, it’s enough to power 193,000 homes. Wow. There are plenty of corporations with names you know who are using solar energy to save millions of dollars. Among them are Target, Walmart, Apple and Costco. Solar panels are not only used for retail stores and office buildings, but also for data centers.

GR Solar Solutions of Texas has a partnership with UMA-Solar and Centrosolar America. This allows the company to bring residential and commercial clients efficient solar power solutions. If you want to know more about having solar panels installed on your home or at your business to ultimately save money, please call GR Solar Solutions at 915-581-0461.