Schoolchildren living in the coolest city in the UK just got a glimpse of the world’s first solar-powered hot air balloon. The balloon actually took its maiden voyage back in 2015, but on Monday youngsters from the Hannah More Primary School in Bristol got to learn about how renewable energy can power global transport — even a hot air balloon.

solar power, hot air balloon, UK, Bristol

The balloon is made of lightweight polyurethane coated nylon. The air inside the balloon is heated by the sun instead of a propane burner, causing it to rise. The black side of the balloon faces the sun, collecting heat, while the silver side prevents the heat from escaping. The balloon is technically a hybrid because it is fitted with propane burners as a backup in case the sun hides behind the clouds when the balloon is up in the air.

Related: The world’s most efficient 5-seater car is powered entirely by the sun

solar power, hot air balloon, UK, Bristol

The balloon is owned by Bristol Energy and developed by Cameron Balloons.

“It’s this kind of very simple science that gets people, young and old, excited about green energy,” said Simon Proctor, Bristol Energy’s Origination Manager. “We have incredibly powerful natural resources that can heat our homes, power our cars, and fly hot air balloons too! It’s now crucial that we support renewable energy, so we can create a sustainable energy future for the next generation.”

Via Bristol Post

Images via YouTubeBristol Energy and Balloon Fiesta 2015