One of the key stumbling blocks for supporters of solar energy is the fact that many of the planet’s sunniest spots lay in the middle of oceans or inhospitable deserts. Now a team from Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology have developed solar energy balloons as a means of harnessing the sun’s energy in exactly such remote areas.
The team argue that the devices may be a cheap way to power remote areas lacking either the land or the infrastructure to accommodate "traditional"-type large power stations.
According to the concept’s developer, Pini Gurfil, the idea is “to take advantage of the height dimension. When you do that, you save a lot of land resources and can get to places otherwise hard to reach.”
The helium-filled balloons, available from around spring 2009, are covered with thin-film solar panels, and can float at heights of up to several hundred meters. The electricity generated is fed via a wire cable into an inverter capable of converting it for household use.
Initial research has shown that a typical 3 Meter (10ft) balloon should cost around $4,000, and be capable of producing around 1Kw of energy. This roughly compares to the same output from 25 square meters (269 sq ft) of traditional solar panels, at a cost of $10,000.
However, critics suggest that the system may have only limited niche appeal, and point to the widespread availability of "free" space on city rooftops and relatively low cost land around many urban centers. Now if they could get them to ten or twenty thousand feet...above the cloud layer, that would be another story.
written by MatÃƒÂ©o, April 08, 2008
written by Al Fin, April 09, 2008
written by Flint, April 09, 2008
written by spostareduro, April 09, 2008
written by freak, March 27, 2009
|< Prev||Next >|