"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," said Pini Gurfil, the concept's developer.
The helium-filled balloons, covered with thin solar panels, hover as high as a few hundred metres in the air, and are connected via a wire cable to an inverter, which converts the electricity into a form households can use.
It will be about a year before the system is ready, Gurfil said. But initial research, both computerised and using a crude prototype, showed a balloon with a three metre (10 ft) diameter could provide about one kilowatt of energy, the same as 25 square metres (269 square feet) of traditional solar panels.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Solar Balloons To Power Remote Areas?