Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sun Balloons

By Rico

Cool Earth Solar's power plant will imitate that of a UFO parking lot beacuse of its next idea. They are gigantic, inexpensive balloons with plastic film with an aluminum lining but within each is a photovoltaic cell at the center. The sun's rays are concentrated on the eight foot wide balloon's power cell that can generate a kilowatt of electricity, 350 times as much without the cell alone (without the balloon.) And if you panic about the thought of hail penetrating the balloon, they say that it will merely create a small patchable leak. The company plans to build a power plant near Livermore, California, headquaters this summer to generate one-megawatt, and a 10,000 balloon, 10-megawatt plant with enough to power 3,500 homes next year.

Golf Ball Cars

By Rico

SkinzWraps, who make the low-wind- resistance vinyl stickers for NASCAR has created something new for your car. It is an adhesive wrapping for your car with the same texture as a golf ball, dimples and all. The wrapping is supposed to make the air "hug" tighter to your car, which in turn reduces pressure drag. It improves the everday car's fuel efficiency by up to 20%. If you don't mind the polka dotted pattern wrapped to your car, the final price is 1,800 USD, but saves about $250 in gas a year. They aren't just stopping at your car, SkinzWraps is working on this same technology for tractor-trailers who guzzle more than 16 percent of transportation gas in the U.S. When testing this on the Big Rigs SkinzWraps will be happy even at 8% fuel efficiency saving 3 billion dollars on diesel a year. Article in- "Popular Science."