Inflatable solar mirrors are apparently 400 times cheaper than polished aluminum mirrors, according to EcoGeek – hello Hank and gang, by the way.
What you do is hang ’em up on yer farm and they collect the sunlight and turn it into power.
The reason you hang them up is because light-collection devices, such as panels, take up a lot of room if they are to gather enough energy to be effective.
That’s sort of a simplistic explanation – so we’ll let the boys at CoolEarth explain…
“Inflated concentrators gather light and focus it onto photovoltaic cells increasing the energy impacting the solar cells many times over. Our design costs orders of magnitude less per collected area than conventional mirrors, can withstand 100 mph winds and protects the mirror surface and receiver from rain, insects, dirt, and the elements.
Coolearth concentrators are suspended in series on support and control cables stretched between poles. By suspending the concentrators, vast areas of land can be easily converted for solar energy production with limited environmental impact. The ground beneath the concentrators remains free for other uses, such as farming or ranching.
We are pursuing the rapid deployment of our technology which radically reduces the material and weight of CPV. Our technology consists of an inflated concentrator and a tensegrity truss rigging structure. This material minimization approach allows us to scale to meet the word’s growing energy demand. Since the sun offers us an abundance of energy each day to more than meet the entire earth’s energy needs, and the sun’s energy is clean and renewable, it provides our best option to avoid burning fossil fuels.