Cool Earth Solar has taken a radical approach to building a solar-power plant using a technique called concentrated solar photovoltaics, in which light is magnified onto solar cells to maximize electricity output.
They plans to manufacture plastic balloons, which will be suspended on metal and wire structures. These round balloons reflect light onto a solar cell to generate electricity. It’s much more efficient than traditional solar cells.
Because its design uses relatively cheap and readily available components, these solar concentrators can generate electricity at a cost comparable to that of natural-gas plants. The inflated solar collectors can resist up to 100 mile-per-hour wind.
The setup can also be unfurled globally, rather than only in places with available funding for expensive energy projects. The company said it is negotiating with utilities to sell electricity from its solar farms. From the company’s release:
“Our goal from the very start was to find a clean-energy generation solution that could address the global scale of the carbon problem. We discarded everything that couldn’t scale, relied on rare components, or had some other critical bottleneck. Ultimately, we developed a novel technology which radically reduces the amount of material in our system and balances labor and capital costs.”
(Credit: Cool Earth Solar )