Sunday, December 16, 2012

Energy history facts

From ancient times people use various energy sources. Geothermal energy were used for springs and heating, hydro and wind energy were used for mills, sailing, water pumps and other mechanical devices, solar energy was used for heating, biomass and coal were used for heating, illumination, cooking, and so on.  For example, nearly 2000 years ago the Greeks used water wheels to grind wheat into flour.

Steam engines were first serious “modern” power source in the world. Steam engines were mostly powered by biomass and coal. The first commercial steam-powered engine device was a water pump, developed in 1698 by Thomas Savery. It used a vacuum to raise water from below, then used steam pressure to raise it higher.

Edwin Drake's 1859 well near Titusville, Pennsylvania, is popularly considered the first modern crude oil well. In the 1840s, the process to distill kerosene from crude oil was invented by James Young in Scotland and the first refinery was built by Ignacy Łukasiewicz, providing a cheaper alternative to whale oil.

The world's first power plant consisted of 24 dynamo electric generators which were driven by a steam engine. It was built by Sigmund Schuckert in the Bavarian town of Ettal (Germany) and went into operation in 1878. Power plant is industrial facility for the generation of electric power.

The first commercial power plant in the United States using three-phase alternating current was at the Mill Creek No. 1 Hydroelectric Plant near Redlands, California, in 1893 designed by Almirian Decker.

In 1878 the world's first hydroelectric power scheme was developed at Cragside in Northumberland, England by William George Armstrong. It was used to power a single arc lamp in his art gallery.

The first major hydro-electric power plants were built by Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse in 1895 on Niagara Falls (USA). These Power Plants practically started the electrification of the world.

In 1911 the world's first commercial geothermal power plant was built in Larderello, Italy. Experimental generators were built in Beppu, Japan and the Geysers, California, in the 1920s, but Italy was the world's only industrial producer of geothermal electricity until 1958.

Photoelectric effect was first observed 1839 by Edmond Becquerel, a physicist from France. In year 1876 Adams and Day observed the photovoltaic effect in solid selenium.  Modern solar cell was discovered in 1954. The first 1 MWP solar park was built by Arco Solar at Lugo near Hesperia, California at the end of 1982, followed in 1984 by a 5.6 MWP installation in Carrizo Plain.

On June 27, 1954, the USSR's Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant became the world's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid, and produced around 5 megawatts of electric power. Obninsk is in today’s Russia.

About 500 B.C. the Chinese discovered the potential of natural gas. Finding places where gas was seeping to the surface, the Chinese formed crude pipelines out of bamboo shoots to transport the gas, where it was used to boil sea water, separating the salt and making it drinkable. Britain was the first country to commercialize the use of natural gas. Around 1785, natural gas produced from coal was used to light houses, as well as streetlights.

Opened on the 26th November 1966, the Rance Tidal Power Station is the world's first tidal power station and also the world's second biggest tidal power station. The facility is located on the estuary of the Rance River, in Brittany, France.

An early application of wave power was a device constructed around 1910 by Bochaux-Praceique to light and power his house at Royan, near Bordeaux in France. In 2008, the first experimental wave farm was opened in Portugal, at the Aguçadoura Wave Park.

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