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The Solar Industrial Revolution: A New Era of Energy

Industrial Revolution & Solar

The following blog outlines key factual points regarding the Industrial Revolution.

A Brief History of the Industrial Revolution

The early Industrial Revolution was fuelled by competition between the British and Indian cotton textile trade. A large population allowed Indian cotton cheap production; the high wages of England’s labourers meant machinery was a necessary innovation. England’s wages were the highest in the world in 1725, wages in London were the equivalent of 11 grams of silver per day. Wages in Delhi were the equivalent of less than 2 grams of silver per day. Indian agriculture was so productive that labourers could be supported at a low cost.

The British decision to use technologies in order to compete with India’s cotton exports marks the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

  1. Steam engines were invented to pump water out of England’s coal mines.
  2. These early steam engines were inefficient, so required a cheap and abundant fuel source.
  3. British coal was abundant. British coal was cheaper than wood as it was not very deep underground.
  4. Coal powered the early steam engines, which pumped water out of the mines, so that coal could be mined.

Coal also burns hotter and longer than wood.

The Second Industrial Revolution saw rapid scientific discovery, development of machinery, and advancement of medical technologies in countries with advanced infrastructure.

Impact of the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution has greatly damaged the future of the human race.

  • Human beings’ life expectancy increased from 35 to 45 between the beginning of the early Industrial Revolution (early 1700s) till the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution (late 1800s).
  • Human beings’ life expectancy increased from 45 to 75 between the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution till modern day (early 2000s).

All species suffer the consequences of housing development, deforestation, ocean acidification, sickness, air pollution, global warming, and depletion of natural resources. 

  1. Pumping water from mines causes biodiversity loss in the surrounding area.
  2. Burning hydrocarbons leads to drought, flooding, biodiversity loss, global warming, air pollution, ocean acidification.
  3. Earth’s resources are vitally limited. You can’t eat your cake and have it too. 
  4. Human beings have dwindled every discovery of new forests, deposits of coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium.

There are two directions for the future of industrial society, human beings will suffer as society crumbles or industrial society will realign with sustainability and develop further animal habitats and agriculture.

Residential PV

Australia’s government offers small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for residential solar. The STCs are paid for, and in turn a rebate is provided.

  1. Photovoltaic (PV) cells absorb sunlight and produce DC (direct current) electricity.
  2. A residential solar panel has around 60 cells. These cells are arranged in a 6×10 matrix called a solar panel.
  3. The PV array connects into a ground level wall mounted solar inverter.
  4. The switchboard is where the solar inverter and electrical grid connect to power household appliances.
  5. The solar inverter converts DC to 230V (volt) AC (alternating current) electricity. 230V AC powers household appliances.
  6. The smart meter is installed or reconfigured following the installation of the PV solar system. The smart meter keeps track of solar export to the electrical grid. A feed-in tariff is paid by the electricity retailer to the homeowner for exported solar production.

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