Environmental architect Joseph Cory has designed a new way to make the most of the sun’s rays: by launching helium-filled, solar-panel-wrapped balloons into the sky, that will then transfer the absorbed energy to a power storage facility on the ground. It’s estimated that one or two balloons would be able to power a home, whereas strings of balloons (pictured above) would be able to generate enough energy to power apartments or other building complexes.
Inhabitat reports that the balloons are ideal for emergency situations, when generators aren’t sufficient for energy production, because of their quick set-up and high power returns. The entry-level balloons are estimated to cost $4,000, which is very reasonable compared to the same amount of energy being produced by a solar field costing nearly $10,000.
The balloons are unlikely to start popping up in cities or suburban areas anytime soon, but don’t be surprised if they begin popping up in deserts or other remote locations. Personally, I think they would be a pretty great visual attraction when you’re looking to the ground on a long flight.