Thursday, August 28, 2008

Balloon Power

There are lots of new ideas circulating about how to reduce the cost of alternative energy. In our previous  post, we linked to sites explaining how inexpensive kites can be harnessed to produce wind power cheaply.

In today's story, we learn about how balloons can decrease the cost of solar energy. The balloons are cleverly made with a reflective back surface and a transparent front. They act as concentrators of the sun's rays, and focus their high-energy beams on a photovoltaic (PV) solar cell. This allows a small PV panel to produce as much electrical power as a much larger one. Since the balloons are light and cheap, and can be held in place with light and cheap wires rather than the heavy and expensive steel frames required by metal concentrators, the total cost of solar energy production is much reduced.

The link is here:
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