Fascinating Solar Energy Facts

Capture the Captivating Power of Solar Energy

James Rich Residence - Solar AWning System - Solar Efficiency Solutions 6

Solar, the most abundant energy resource, faces its unique challenges which are unlike other usable energy sources. Despite the unique challenges, solar energy capturing has grown in stride throughout the years as a dependable energy resource. To help us understand solar energy, lets look into the history based on facts.

Fact 1: Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth – 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.

Fact 2: The first silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954. On page one of its April 26, 1954 issue, The New York Times proclaimed the milestone, “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.”

Fact 3: The space industry was an early adopter of solar technology. In the 1960s, the space industry began to use solar technology to provide power aboard spacecrafts. The Vanguard 1 – the first artificial earth satellite powered by solar cells – remains the oldest manmade satellite in orbit – logging more than 6 billion miles.

Fact 4: The U.S. installed 7,260 megawatts (MW) of solar in 2015 to reach 27.4 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 5.4 million American homes. Thanks to a booming residential PV market and continued realization of the utility sector’s double-digit gigawatt project pipeline, 2015 was the biggest year yet in solar history. Despite this remarkable growth, the industry is set to double more than the amount of installed capacity in 2016.

Responding to the desire to harness this  abundant energy source, TRA Snow and Sun has created the perfect  mounting solution for capturing solar energy from any rooftop.  TRA has mounting solutions for metal panels, asphalt & cedar shingles, corrugated metal, flat granule metal, simulated slate, single ply, slate, tile & wood shake.

TRA Snow & Sun Solar Products address solar energy needs as an integral part of a well-designed solar system. Our Solar Mount Systems are tested & engineered from the fail point of the entire system, not just our products.


All requesting clients receive free engineered layouts within 2 working days for each project’s specific requirements. For a free layout, data sheets, specs & quote contact us at 855-542-1861 or

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TRA Snow and Sun Featured on Real Estate Essentials

TRA Snow and Sun was featured on ABC’s Real Estate Essentials with Jay Deher. The feature is on a home in Springville Utah where our specialists partnered with Rocky Mountain Renewable Energy to set this house up with solar panels.

Big thanks to Brian Adams, who points out the benefits of using TRA Snow and Sun as their racking solution for their solar panels.

Those benefits are:

  • 25-year warranty the racking system for your solar panels
  • Engineered Solution allowing longer distances on the spans on rails which means less roof penetrations and gives a better quality product

We have worked with Rocky Mountain Renewable Energy to develop our products to produce an overall quality solar energy system.

Visit us at to learn more about the many different options for your solar racking needs, or call us at 877-290-8669

The History Timeline of Solar Energy

The sun is one of the most powerful energy sources we have available, and that kind of power doesn’t go unnoticed.  Understanding the history of solar power is crucial to relying effectively on the sun for a source of usable energy!

700 BC

Way back in 700 BC, the first sunlit fire was created.  Now, this may not be what you think of when you imagine solar power, but it was the true beginning of solar power’s history! But, from here we continue into the perhaps more traditional aspects of solar history.


In 1769 the first solar oven was invented.  This was a huge step for solar power because it was one of the first times solar power was intentionally harnessed to produce heat energy.  And, in 1776, the first solar collector was built by Horace de Saussure.


In 1839 the term photovalic was coined to refer to the creation of electric current when substances are exposed to light. And, August Mouchot used this new information to directly convert solar radiation into mechanical power.  Although this process began in the 1860’s, he continued perfecting it into the 1880’s.  Mouchot’s discoveries led to the production of solar energy as a viable and usable energy source.

Then, in 1873-1876 scientists learned about the Photo Conductivity of Selenium—meaning that selenium becomes more conductive when it is exposed to light energy. This discovery was used to produce and use electricity through light.

In 1881-1891 scientists made even more advances into the storing of solar energy through the invention of solar cells.

1905-1916 Albert Einstein Solar Paper

Early in 1905, Albert Einstein wrote a paper on the photoelectric effect.  His efforts however were not recognized until 1916 when Robert Millikan found further evidence to support Einstein’s claims.  Their combined knowledge served to advance the progressions of solar power and storage processes.

Also, in 1908 the first copper collector for solar power was created.  Copper plays an important role in the collection of all renewable energy sources, so this discovery represents a huge step forward for the solar power industry.


Finally in the late 1940’s, solar energy finally began gaining traction, especially after WWII. As time and energy was able to turn away from the war effort, more scientific minds were able to direct their energy towards the production of renewable power sources.


In the early 1950’s Photovoltaics—or the processes of converting solar radiation to direct current energy—was discovered. And, in 1958 solar energy really took off, and beyond simply being used here on earth, it also reached space, as astronauts began using solar energy in space crafts.


For the first time, solar panels began to become a viable and cost effective means of harnessing energy on a wide scale.  This was a huge step in the right direction for solar energy that brought us much closer to the wide variety of solar energy available today.


But even though solar power was beginning to take off, the United States’ government didn’t start to embrace solar energy until the late seventies. And, in 1981 the first Solar Panel Aircrafts were created. The first successful solar powered flight flew from France to England during this time.

In 1982 Australia began developing solar panel cars, the future for solar panels was truly beginning to look bright!

1986-1999Solar Energy Plants

Large solar energy plants started popping up everywhere. This started a trend of environmentally sound solar plants that promised a positive future for solar energy. And, finally in 1999 solar energy processes truly developed into an extremely efficient source of energy.


When Spain gained a subsidy on solar energy it had a negative effect on solar energy around the world.  But, by 2012 the world overcame these obstacles to the point of introducing record breaking solar plants.

And today, solar energy is becoming so important that it even played a role in the FIFA World Cup.   Solar power is becoming more and more important as the industry, need, and workforce is rapidly growing. And you can become a part of this rich tradition with your own solar panels!

Don’t wait to embrace the history of solar power, call us today to see how you can implement solar power into your life.

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

photo credit: Collin Key (away) via photopin cc

Where is Solar Power Being Used the Most?

Solar Power is one of the most promising alternative sources of energy around. The sun gives us enough energy every day to power our cities for years. Should we learn to harness that energy, we could produce clean, sustainable energy for centuries to come.

Scientific advances have given us solar panels. These panels absorb the sun’s rays and transform them into usable energy. Although they are not incredibly efficient yet, they offer a bright ray of sunshine in a world dependent on a quickly depleting source of energy (oil).

solar-panel- solar racking-1-274x300Solar panels have been adopted in many first world countries. They are becoming more populous every day throughout the world.

Germany is listed as the top producer of solar energy in the world. By far, they own the most megawatts of solar power in the world. This country has garnished so much attention because of a tariff incentive. Solar electricity producers are paid extra for their renewable power, drawing them to Germany.

Other parts of Europe are vying for the next top spot. Countries like Spain and Italy are also early adopters interested in spreading the use of solar energy throughout the country.

Wherever there’s an increase in clean, usable technology, you can bet that Japan is all over it. Japan invested $9 billion to encourage solar energy within the country. Much of that went to public schools. Recent tragedies have slowed them down a bit in their development, but you can bet to see them in hot pursuit of solar energy again soon.

The last country to look at is the United States. Although not a global leader, it is still coming up strong. California in particular caught the energy bug. They own over 50% of the solar energy in the U.S. Other states are catching up quick though and it won’t be long until you start seeing these panels everywhere.

Solar energy is the natural energy source of the future. Why dig for energy when it shines down on us every day of our lives? The atmosphere will thank us as we keep more of those harmful chemicals out of the air.