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Engineers Exploring Solar Balloons Technology to Drive Energy Yields

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Published on : Feb 09, 2016

The global solar power market is booming. A key trend witnessed in the global solar power market is the rising efficiency of solar panels. The efficiency of solar panels has increased dramatically in the past few decades and all this has been possible due to innovation. Big companies, private organization, government organizations, and independent researchers are continuously pushing the boundaries of solar panel efficiency.

A technology that is projected to drive the efficiency of solar power generation is solar balloons. This technology is still in the development phase. However, it promises to be highly effective and efficient due to the constant access to sun’s energy. Let us explore this technology in the global solar power market in detail.

Concept of Solar Balloons Technology
An international consortium, under the guidance of French-Japanese research lab called NEXTPV is working on this concept. According to this concept, there are very few clouds, which are floating around at an altitude of around 6 kilometers. Furthermore, at the altitude of around 20 kilometers, there is hardly any interference. This elimination of cloud coverage and also light diffusion occurs in the close layers of the atmosphere of our planet, leading to a higher concentration of sun’s light.

Exploring Solar Balloons Farms
Launching solar cell balloons in that layer would allow access to this higher concentration of sunlight. Nevertheless, keeping these solar cell balloons is a big challenge. However, solar farms built using solar cell balloons would use the excess electricity created during the day to recombine oxygen and hydrogen in a fuel cell. This fuel cell would release the power at intervals during the night. These fuel cells will keep the balloons floating in the air.

The materials used to make these solar cell balloons would be low-energy polymers, which are quite easy to produce on a mass level. Furthermore, initiatives such as Google’s Project Loon are already using this concept.

These conceptual solar farms build using solar cell balloons would help resolve the issue of space on the planet. Presently, solar farms are taking up enormous space of land, which could be used for other purposes. Solar cell balloons farms would be able to resolve this issue and offer much more power generation.