This new technology is developed by Cool Earth and promises to cut the cost of solar energy 90% by 2010.
Are realized in the upper half of the balloons made from a transparent film while in the lower one by a reflective. Once inflated, the balloons form a parabola that focuses the sun's rays onto a solar cell with high efficiency, so the energy harvesting enables the PV cell to produce 400 times more energy than if it were exposed to direct sun without concentrator.
The transparent film protects the PV cell and the reflecting surface by atmospheric agents such as rain, wind, dirt, insects, and the structure can withstand very strong winds.
A series of concentrators is suspended and controlled through a structure of theses cables that allow to reduce the environmental impact, leaving free the surface of the soil for other uses such as agriculture or farming.
The most interesting aspect is that the balloons are made using common materials and cost is estimated at a cost of 2 euro cents per watt (as for traditional solar installations ranging from 5 to 8 euro per watt).
Here are the features of a balloon with a diameter of 2 meters:
- 400 times cheaper than traditional aluminum concentrators
- 500 watts of electricity
- replacement in 15 minutes
- repair with tape
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