Schoolchildren living in the coolest city in the UK just got a glimpse of the world’s first solar-powered hot air balloon. The balloon actually took its maiden voyage back in 2015, but on Monday youngsters from the Hannah More Primary School in Bristol got to learn about how renewable energy can power global transport — even a hot air balloon.
The balloon is made of lightweight polyurethane coated nylon. The air inside the balloon is heated by the sun instead of a propane burner, causing it to rise. The black side of the balloon faces the sun, collecting heat, while the silver side prevents the heat from escaping. The balloon is technically a hybrid because it is fitted with propane burners as a backup in case the sun hides behind the clouds when the balloon is up in the air.
The balloon is owned by Bristol Energy and developed by Cameron Balloons.
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