Sunhope Solar Balloons for anytime anywhere power

Joseph Cory, of Geotectura has teamed up with Technion aerospace engineer Dr. Pini Gurfil to develop an array of helium-filled platforms constructed from a new fabric coated with photovoltaic solar cells. Dubbed Sunhope, the project is showing great promise as a low-cost deployable system that would harness solar energy while maintaining a minuscule environmental footprint. These solar balloons are as low-impact as power plants get, since their infrastructure is composed entirely of a control panel, a helium supply cable, and a power cable. Residential possibilities are great since one or two balloons can fulfill all the power requirements of a house. Cory and Gurfil have constructed several prototypes and have conducted research to show that a 10 ft balloon could provide around a kilowatt of energy (equivalent to 25 square meters of solar panels). The best part about this balloon is that it focuses on going vertical instead of the massive sprawl of going horizontal and making the land below useless. Their target cost is $4,000 per balloon, compared to the $10,000 it would cost for a solar field producing the same amount of energy. The balloons will last about a year without needing maintenance, and Cory and Gurfil are working hard to make the balloons as wind resistant as possible by experimenting with size and structure.

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