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Solar powered balloon visits Bristol school

19th July 2017 amy Balloon Ride Innovation

Schoolchildren at a Bristol-based primary school were given a treat as they were visited by the world’s very first solar powered hot air balloon.

Hannah More Primary School, which is located close to Temple Meads, gave its students a valuable and unforgettable science lesson based on renewable energy with the assistance of the solar powered balloon on Monday 17th July.

The children learned about the technology behind the vehicle. The balloon, which is black and silver in colour, is made from lightweight polyurethane coated nylon, with the colour scheme also playing an important role in the design and technology behind it.

The black section of the balloon will attract heat in order to make the air contained within the balloon much hotter than the usual ambient temperature. The silver section of the balloon then prevents the collected heat from escaping.

As a backup, in case the sun hides behind a cloud mid-flight, the balloon is also fitted with a set of propane burners. This is the setup used in traditional hot air balloons, and the installation of these burners means that the balloon is classed as a solar-hybrid.

The Origination Manager of Bristol Energy, Simon Proctor, explained that the science behind the technology is quite simple, but effective in getting everyone excited about green energy.

The balloon will be showcased at this year’s Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place in August and usually attracts over half a million people to the city.

People can experience the science and technology behind flying a hot air balloon by taking their own hot air balloon ride in Bristol and throughout the UK.

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