Alternative Energy-Solar Energy - What Are Solar Balloons?
A year ago an original concept in alternative energy won the "Forward Thinking" award in the RE:VOLT Electrifying Ideas competition. The fact that was this break through? Solar balloons manufactured by Israeli scientists Joseph Cory and Dr. Pini Gurfil for Sun Hope.
What exactly are Solar Balloons?
Historically the definition of "solar balloon" has described simple black balloons that have been stuffed with air. Based on Wikipedia, "as sunlight shines about the balloon, air inside is heated and expands, causing an upward buoyancy force, just like an artificially-heated heat balloon. Some solar balloons are large enough for human flight, but usage is limited towards the toy market because surface-area to payload-weight ratio is quite high."
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As technology evolves, terminology evolves also. Currently the title of "solar balloon" could also reference a balloon like "platform" which contains embedded photovoltaic arrays or solar arrays in order to convert solar panel technology into electric power. Regarding the Joseph Cory and Dr. Pini Gurfil's Sun Hope design we percieve a lighter-than-air helium filled fabric balloon since the platform or base. Each fabric balloon is tied to the floor with two cables Body for helium refills, another for passing generated electricity into a cp.
Sun Hope isn't alone inside their pursuit of an inexpensive, functional solar balloon design. Another solar balloon design comes from Cool Earth Solar. Cool Earth Solar uses plastic balloons which might be suspended on wires. To acquire a visual, visualize a 2 meter wide mylar balloon. These plastic balloons likewise have concentrated solar photovoltaics where light is magnified onto cells to maximize electricity generation output. A common worry about solar balloons could be the ability to fully stand up in high wind environments, as outlined by Cool Earth Solar, their system can withstand wind speeds up to 100 miles-per-hour.
While solar balloons show promise being a photovoltaic implementation there are many concerns to become noted. These concerns however, are not any unique of those found with medium to large wind power installations. Dependant on the size and style and location of installation one may ought to consider things like air traffic regulations and potential bird collisions.
Solar balloons provide impressive value in isolated, off-grid locations in addition to temporary portable power supplies. In situations genuinely, solar balloons give a option to escaping a fossil fuel dependency.
Concentrating Solar powered energy
Both in of types of solar balloons, the efficiency of the electricity cells are improved by concentrating solar power (CSP). According to the US United states doe, "concentrating solar power's relatively inexpensive and skill to supply power in times of peak demand - when and where we require it - signify it could be a major contributor to the nation's future needs for distributed causes of energy."
Concentrating solar powered energy system work by using mirrors or another reflective surfaces to accentuate the energy in the sun with a specific point. This power energy can improve the efficiency of pv cells. In accordance with Cool Earth Solar, "multi-junction, high efficiency cells produced by satellite technology allow CPV systems to build exactly the same quantity of electricity as traditional lcd PV systems with all the approximately 500 times less solar cell material." With diminishing resources of unprocessed trash needed to manufacture solar cells, concentrating solar power can provide more energy with less recycleables.
While today solar balloons can be a new technology, in the future they are often an answer to curing our nation of it's attachment to classic fuels. The Cool Earth team recently received $21 million that they intend to use to develop a 10 megawatt plant using their solar balloon technology. Thanks to forward thinking, environment friendly investors, a solar balloon based solar power plant can be a reality next couple of years, someday it may even power your house.