Cool Earth Solar has one of those radical green-tech ideas that may actually make a real commercial impact.
In the next two weeks, the company plans to start testing a prototype solar plant built around rows of reflective balloons hung on poles. The solar balloons, which are eight feet in diameter, look something like a tube for sledding or laying around the pool, but each one can generate 1 kilowatt of electricity.
It's a design that combines cheap building materials, notably plastics, with expensive high-efficiency solar cells. Light goes through the side of the balloon facing the sun, is … Read more