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Alternative Energy-Solar Energy - What exactly are Solar Balloons?

Communal heating systems This past year an original concept in renewable energy won the "Forward Thinking" award in the RE:VOLT Electrifying Ideas competition. What was this break through? Solar balloons developed by Israeli scientists Joseph Cory and Dr. Pini Gurfil for Sun Hope.

Precisely what are Solar Balloons?

RHI heat meters Historically the term "solar balloon" has referred to simple black balloons that were filled up with air. Based on Wikipedia, "as sunlight shines for the balloon, air inside is heated and expands, causing an upward buoyancy force, much like an artificially-heated heat balloon. Some solar balloons are large enough for human flight, but usage is restricted on the toy market since the surface-area to payload-weight ratio is pretty high."

As technology evolves, terminology evolves also. Currently the title of "solar balloon" also can reference a balloon like "platform" made up of embedded photovoltaic arrays or solar arrays to be able to convert solar energy into electrical power. When it comes to the Joseph Cory and Dr. Pini Gurfil's Sun Hope design we percieve a lighter-than-air helium filled fabric balloon as the platform or base. Each fabric balloon is stuck just using the ground with two cables - one for helium refills, one other for passing generated electricity with a user interface.

Sun Hope isn't alone within their hunt for a cost effective, functional solar balloon design. Another solar balloon design emanates from Cool Earth Solar. Cool Earth Solar uses plastic balloons which are suspended on wires. To obtain a visual, imagine a 2 meter wide mylar balloon. These plastic balloons also provide concentrated solar photovoltaics where light is magnified onto solar cells to maximise electricity generation output. A typical concern about solar balloons is the capacity to remain true in high wind environments, as outlined by Cool Earth Solar, their system can withstand wind speeds all the way to 100 miles per hour.


While solar balloons show promise as a photovoltaic implementation there are several concerns being noted. These concerns however, are no distinct from those found with medium to large wind power installations. Based on the size and style and site of installation you can need to consider things like air traffic regulations and potential bird collisions.

Solar balloons provide impressive value in isolated, off-grid locations and also temporary portable power supplies. In situations genuinely, solar balloons supply a path to escaping a fossil fuel dependency.

Concentrating Solar powered energy

In of examples of solar balloons, the efficiency with the electricity cells are improved by concentrating solar power (CSP). In line with the US Us department of energy, "concentrating solar power's relatively inexpensive and talent to deliver power in periods of peak demand - when and where we require it - imply that it's really a major contributor to the nation's future needs for distributed options for energy."

Concentrating solar energy system work by using mirrors and other reflective surfaces to intensify the energy of the sun to a specific point. This energy energy can improve the efficiency of solar cells. As outlined by Cool Earth Solar, "multi-junction, high quality cells produced from satellite technology allow CPV systems to build precisely the same volume of electricity as traditional lcd PV systems when using as much as 500 times less solar cell material." With diminishing supplies of recycleables needed to manufacture pv cells, concentrating solar energy can offer more energy with less raw materials.

While today solar balloons certainly are a new technology, in the future they are often an answer to curing our nation of it's reliance on standard fuels. The Cool Earth team recently received $21 million that they can plan to use to build a ten megawatt plant making use of their solar balloon technology. As a result of forward thinking, environmentally aware investors, a solar balloon based solar technology plant can be a reality over the following number of years, someday it might even power your house.


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