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Solar Thermal Power and Energy Storage Historical Perspective (2011)
This paper comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It presents a comprehensive history of the innovations behind solar thermal technology and how it has reached its current state.
The paper claims that geo-political competition and fears over the scarcity of coal reserves created an interest and drive to develop renewable energies like solar thermal in the 18th century, which is somewhat analogous to the world’s situation today. The work of inventors and engineers like Abel Pifre and Robert Stirling formed the basis of early work in solar thermal power.
Solar thermal energy was first pioneered in the USA in the 1970s by the work of the newly established Department of Energy, which used government engineers to further develop solar thermal technology. Today’s solar thermal innovations are heavily focused on energy storage technology, which would help bring solar thermal into the existing grid much more easily and make it more consumer friendly.
Author: M. Ragheb
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