Alternative Energy-Solar Energy - Exactly what are Solar Balloons?
A year ago a unique concept in renewable power won the "Forward Thinking" award inside the RE:VOLT Electrifying Ideas competition. That which was this break through? Solar balloons developed by Israeli scientists Joseph Cory and Dr. Pini Gurfil for Sun Hope.
Precisely what are Solar Balloons?
Historically the term "solar balloon" has described simple black balloons that have been filled with air. Based on Wikipedia, "as sunlight shines for the balloon, mid-air inside is heated and expands, causing an upward buoyancy force, just like an artificially-heated hot air balloon. Some solar balloons are big enough for human flight, but usage is fixed for the toy market because the surface-area to payload-weight ratio is quite high."
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As technology evolves, terminology evolves also. Now the title of "solar balloon" also can reference a balloon like "platform" which contains embedded photovoltaic arrays or solar arrays to be able to convert solar energy into electrical power. In the case of 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 ground with two cables - one for helium refills, one other for passing generated electricity to a cp.
Sun Hope isn't alone in their pursuit of an inexpensive, functional solar balloon design. Another solar balloon design arises from Cool Earth Solar. Cool Earth Solar uses plastic balloons which can be suspended on wires. To obtain a visual, make a 2 meter wide mylar balloon. These plastic balloons have concentrated solar photovoltaics where light is magnified onto solar panels to maximise electricity generation output. Perhaps the most common concern about solar balloons could be the ability to stand up in high wind environments, in accordance with 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 some concerns to be noted. These concerns however, aren't any diverse from those found with medium to large wind power installations. Depending upon the size and style and site of installation one may have to consider items 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 honestly, solar balloons provide a route to escaping a fossil fuel dependency.
Concentrating Solar Power
In the of types of solar balloons, the efficiency with the photovoltaic cells are improved by concentrating solar powered energy (CSP). In accordance with the US United states doe, "concentrating solar power's relatively low priced and talent to deliver power during times of peak demand - when and where we need it - imply that it could be a major contributor to the nation's future needs for distributed sources of energy."
Concentrating solar technology system work by utilizing mirrors or other reflective surfaces to intensify the energy of the sun with a specific point. This energy energy can improve the efficiency of solar cells. In accordance with Cool Earth Solar, "multi-junction, top quality cells derived from satellite technology allow CPV systems to build the same quantity of electricity as traditional lcd PV systems with all the around 500 times less solar cell material." With diminishing resources of raw materials necessary to manufacture photovoltaic cells, concentrating solar power can offer more energy with less unprocessed trash.
While today solar balloons really are a new technology, sooner they could be an answer to curing our nation of it's reliance upon fossil fuels. The Cool Earth team recently received $21 million they will want to use to construct a 10 megawatt plant making use of their solar balloon technology. Because of forward thinking, environmentally aware investors, a solar balloon based solar powered energy plant may be a reality in the next few years, someday it might even power your house.