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Hot-air balloons could reduce global warming

Updated on November 15, 2011

Factories and power plants produce heat as a by-product. If that heat gets into the air, it contributes to global warming. Why not harness that heat by putting

Many factories produce heat as an unwanted by-product of their manufacturing processes. Nearly all power plants (coal,nuclear,etc.) also produce heat. Heat produced by factories and power plants is expelled into the Earth's atmosphere, and when it enters the atmosphere, it contributes to global warming. One way to reduce global warming would be to capture the heat produced by power plants and factories, and inject that heat into hot-air balloons. Hot-air balloons require large amounts of hot air in order to fly, and so it's logical to assume that heat from power plants and factories could be used to provide hot air for a fleet of hot-air balloons. If heat from a power plant or factory is held inside a hot-air balloon, the heat will never get into the Earth's atmosphere, and therefore, it will never contribute to global warming.

The illustration above shows a hot-air balloon hovering over a power plant. A tube is extended upwards from the power plant. This tube must be connected to the bottom of the hot-air balloon for several minutes, so the balloon can be refilled with hot air. When the balloon is filled,the tube retracts and the balloon moves away. The balloon would be powered by small motors, like a blimp, or a zeppelin. The balloon itself would be insulated with styrofoam (expanded polystyrene foam) or silica aerogel, to keep the hot air hot for long periods of time. Hot-air balloons like this may carry passengers on short trips between power plants, factories, or other installations.

Anthony Ratkov. November 16,2011. Computer-graphic illustrations by Anthony Ratkov.


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