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Cool Earth Is Scaling Up Solar Energy Generation (solar balloons)

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:09 AM
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Cool Earth Is Scaling Up Solar Energy Generation (solar balloons)
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/story?id=5...

Imagine a 1-megawatt solar power plant that has nothing to do with vast swaths of PV panels or mirrored troughs in a barren desert environment that require new transmission lines to population centers. Instead, picture a rolling, grassy field populated with 500 vertical poles that each hold two 8-foot-wide balloons. While cows graze among the poles, the large recyclable plastic balloons, each with a mirrored inside surface, truss and concentrated solar cell, follow the sun's transit thanks to a small electric motor. A utility substation is nearby.

While balloons deployed across the land collecting solar energy is indeed a happy image, CEO Rob Lamkin would argue that the true serendipity of the startup firm's technology has a more important source. "Enough solar hits the earth in an hour to power the world for a year. But flat panel PV installed is US $8 to $9 a watt, whereas our prototype is US $1/watt," he says.

By using cheap, abundant thin film plastic as its primary technology component, Cool Earth has avoided the problem of being able to manufacture the PV required to generate enough solar energy to meet demand and reduce carbon. "The size of the energy problem is in TERA-watts and right now, there are less than 10 gigawatts of PV installed. China puts in that much coal-fired generation in a few weeks," Lamkin says. "We need to ramp solar up to be doing gigawatts, or we are going to lose. A lot of people have figured out that we don't make near enough PV. We would have to install 10 gigawatts of PV every four days until 2030 to get to carbon neutrality."

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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:40 AM
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1. Works for me.
Along with other clean, renewable energy solutions and innovations, we should be able to get away from needing fossil fuels in relatively short order.

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amdezurik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:54 AM
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2. a touch of creative spirit
that sounds like a great idea!
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:22 PM
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3. and these plastic balloons will be made from? nt
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