StratoSolar is a system solution that directly attacks all the problems of PV generation and transforms PV into a real, disruptive and transformative lower cost renewable energy solution.
- 3X more power for same PV panels due to more sunlight and colder environment.
- Same or lower capital cost as ground PV, declining in cost at the same learning rate
- No need for backup generation or excess capacity and transmission to handle unpredictable weather based long duration outages
- Low cost. $1.00/Watt (or $100/kWh)
- Long lived, 10,000 daily cycles
- No geographical constraint
- No material resource constraint
- Uses the same HVDC conversion and transmission equipment as PV generation.
- Motor/generator runs directly on the voltage from the PV array
StratoSolar is a combination of tried and true PV technology with a new unproven high altitude buoyant tethered platform technology. The risk is concentrated on the new technology of the buoyant tethered platform. Viability depends on whether buoyant tethered platforms can be built, deployed and not damaged or destroyed by environmental hazards over the 30 plus year lifetime of the power plant. Other risks are whether the predicted capital costs are achievable and possible regulatory impediments from the FAA and local authorities.
The new buoyant tethered platforms are really novel structural engineering towers. Large scale structural engineering is a well established engineering discipline. Building the first of a new class of large scale structural engineering projects could be compared with other once novel large structural engineering projects, like steel framed skyscrapers, concrete dams, oil production platforms or steel suspension bridges. This class of project always initially stretch human credibility but actually rarely fail because the structural engineering discipline is very robust. The same reasoning applies to StratoSolar platforms.