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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Future Houses To Be Powered By Solar Balloons?

(Image: Sketch of solar balloons collecting energy from the sun. Credit: Geotectura)

It looks as if an Israeli scientist has created a unique way for homes to save a few shekels (or dollars) on their next energy bill.

(Israel 21st Century) The Israeli scientist, who is shortly to complete his PhD at the Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Architecture and City Construction, at Haifa's Technion Israel Institute of Technology, has developed a new way to produce electricity using helium balloons made from fabric coated with photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. These balloons are much cheaper to build and install than existing solar panels, and also take up far less room, which is significant in an urban environment.

The balloons, which are a little like mini-Zeppelins, are connected to the ground via two cables: one to refill helium, and the other to pass the electricity to a control panel. The balloons can be connected to one another vertically, one meter apart, going up hundreds of meters into the sky.

Although Joseph Cory (the inventor) will probably find resistance towards building his balloons due to air traffic regulations, he may find his application very useful in isolated regions around the world.

If these balloons could be constructed over desert areas (which Israel has plenty of), then the kosher state may find yet another way to become energy independent from fossil fuels.

Note: More info regarding this company can be found at

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