There's only so much space on the surface of the earth. And, frankly, we're going to need all the space we can get to feed 7 billion people without pushing every other species into extinction.
That's why Dr. Pini Gurfil wants to put solar panels in the sky. The basic idea is a string of large helium balloons coated with solar panels and tethered together. The cord that connects them to each other and to the ground has two additional functions, delivering helium to the balloon, and pulling electricity back down to earth.
The research team from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology says that every house would require roughly two balloons. They've already installed two pilot projects one for in-city generation and one for an off-the-grid area in the desert.
The initial applications could be for offshore power, where it's hard to be on grid and surface area is extremely limited. But the folks in Hafia say that this design could, if mass produced, soon be producing economically viable solar power in sunny areas of the world.
Via The Jerusalem Post
-Floating Wind Power-
written by Saul Wall, July 07, 2007
Israel and technology
written by car rent Israel, December 26, 2007
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