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Hot Air Balloons Could Power Your House
Posted By Mike Chino On January 26, 2009 @ 11:00 am In Kinetic Energy,Renewable Energy,Solar Power | No Comments
Hot air balloons have long fueled the imagination and now Brisbane-based Solartran  has conceived of a way to harness the serene floating forms  to generate significant amounts of renewable energy as well. Developed by Ian Edmonds, the “balloon engine ” uses solar energy  to drive a giant hot air balloon as a “piston”, producing as much as 50Kw – enough energy to power 10 homes!
Photo by Alex Jagendorf 
Ian Edmonds’ balloon engine  works by first trapping solar energy in a greenhouse , and then using this heated air to inflate a giant balloon. As the ballon rises it pulls on an earthbound tether, spinning a generator  to produce electricity. Once the balloon has ascended to its apex of 3 kilometers it automatically release its air and descends, giving the entire process a similar arc to the workings of a two-stroke engine.
Hot air balloons have always captivated us as an incredible mode of transportation , and we’re excited to hear of their application in generating renewable energy. Edmonds expects the cost of his balloon engines to be on par with that of wind power, making it a great system for places where the sun is hot but the winds seldom blow.
+ Solartran 
Via News Scientist 
Lead photo by Floet2008 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/hot-air-balloon-engine-by-solartran/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/26/hot-air-balloon-engine-by-solartran/
 Solartran: http://www.solartran.com.au/
 serene floating forms: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/04/10/sunhope-solar-balloons/
 balloon engine: http://www.solartran.com.au/balloon_engine.htm
 solar energy: http://www.inhabitat.com/category/solar-power/
 Alex Jagendorf: http://flickr.com/photos/ajagendorf25/1076632419/
 greenhouse: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/09/10/solar-updraft-towers-in-namibia/
 spinning a generator: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/08/05/kite-power-delft-univerity-of-technology/
 incredible mode of transportation: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/13/awesome-aeolus-airship-by-christopher-ottersbach/
 News Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126915.800-balloon-power-isnt-just-a-load-of-hot-air.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=environment
 Floet2008: http://flickr.com/photos/26266251@N03/2559883351/
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