Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Waste heat ballooning

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Many industrial business, such as power stations, pump out significant quantities of waste heat. This idea is to divert this waste warm air to fill large tethered balloons. Warm air would enter the bottom of the balloon (through a very long flexible tube when the balloon is airborne). The air supply would take air straight to the top of the balloon. As the air cools it would spill out of the (open) bottom of the balloon.

This could work in a number of ways. For somewhere which pumps out waste heat 24 hours a day, the balloon would be weighted in such a way that it is buoyant enough during the cool night to rise, but gradually sinks during the day as the ambient air warms up. For businesses that only generate warm air during the day (e.g. a large office block's air-conditioning), it would rise during the day and sink during the night.

With balloons constantly shuttling up and down all the time, it might be possible for them to give some of their warm air to another balloon, permanently moored at, say, 5,000 feet. In this case, the permanently moored balloon could have a small amount of luxury office space slung beneath it, and the other balloons get used for commuting.
hippo, Mar 27 2006

District Heating http://en.wikipedia...ki/District_heating
There are better uses for waste heat [kinemojo, Mar 27 2006]

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       let's have one over parliament.
po, Mar 27 2006
  

       Why not connect the balloon to a winch and generator system then you could generate electric. And finally get something useful out of parliment/congress/(insert your local political organization here).
jhomrighaus, Mar 27 2006
  

       Don't use hot air but steam. Steam delivers 3 times the lifting power than hot air so you can have a smaller ballon that fills quicker. the flyingkettle.com website mentions waste steam as a resource for LTA steam airships.
nietsch, Mar 27 2006
  
      
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