h a l f b a k e r y
non-lame halfbakery tagline
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Chain several together and you get a cluster ballooning
Tether them to the ground, connect them to a harness, and
have them high enough and far enough away from you and
from each other, and you have:
* A roof walking safety device so you can't fall down.
* A mountain climbing
safety device, and climb assist.
* A portable ladder to reach very high things outside.
* A portable crane/elevator to lift things high up.
All to be used outside. Don't try these at home.
OK here's how it works. [c illustration in link]
A cup of water is covered by a plastic bag. The cup is
to the bag in a few places close to the bottom of the bag
cup, by glue or tape.
Two graphite electrodes for hydrolysis are inserted in the
water connected to insulated electric wires which lead to a
The bag is tethered with a kite string.
After a short while the balloon begins floating
[edited out following Max and 8th's remarks]
The H2, floating to the top, presumably removes the O2
replacing it, as the balloon fills.
[new text replacing the former text]
The O2 part is sealed to the side forcing the O2 to fill only a
small separate portion of the balloon, before being forced
out of the balloon altogether (See revised illustration). Only
the H2 is allowed to fill the balloon.
Please see illustration 3 for a better contraption achieving
[end of edit]
The hydrolysis continues with the balloon now floating, as
as the electric wire allows for. This is for safety.
Once the balloon is full it can be released from the
and sent up to its required tethered height.
The harness is connected to it, and with enough of these,
can now climb the wall of your house, safely walk the roof,
hoist up a piano to the 30th floor (not so safe), or just jump
up to the clouds to have a look at the scenery.
Safety is achieved by having the ballon complete its filling
up and away from the person filling it.
Also, each balloon is kept away from the next so that
combustion will not cause the rest of the cluster to explode.
Uses for this kind of device were listed above.
Electric balloon illustration
[pashute, Jan 30 2017]
Electric balloon illustration - revised
Only hydrogen enters the balloon [pashute, Feb 08 2017]
[pashute, Feb 08 2017]
||Hmm. You would want to have a dividing wall (not necessarily extending to the top of the balloon) between the two electrodes. Otherwise, the H2 and O2 will tend to mix, reducing the bouyancy.
||In fact, it would be quite good to prevent _all_ mixing of the H2 and O2. A balloon full of H2 will burn if ignited. A balloon full of H2 and even a modest amount of O2 explodes with quite surprising violence.
||HAHAHAHA ! AHAHAHAHAHAHA !
||Yes, they do. MUHWHAHAHAHAHAHA !!! <cough, cough>
// The H2, floating to the top, presumably removes the O2 replacing it, as the balloon fills. //
||No, it doesn't. Hydrogen is extremely mobile, and at STP will remain in a homogeneous mix with the oxygen, right up to the point where it goes back to being water, very loudly, AHAHAHAHAH !
||// the H2 and O2 will tend to mix, reducing the bouyancy. //
||The volume is the same, whether the gases are separated or not. The masses are the same. So, the overall density is the same. For each mole of water, you get one mole of hydrogen and half a mole of oxygen.
||Yes, [8th]. Howevertheless, if the two sides of the electrolysis chamber are separated (even by a simple partition), the denser oxygen can fall out of the open bottom end of the balloon while the lighter hydrogen rises to the top. This will only work, of course, if the two gases do not become intimately mixed first.
||Again, same mistake, it seems, as I had with solutions,
where I thought dissolved materials would part by
centrifugal force. So you're saying, once the two gases mix,
they won't part into heavier and lighter materials. They'll
become a mixture?
||If so, are the clouds actually created in areas with the
same humidity as above and below, but simply are colder,
or are being tied together by some attachment force once
there is a cloud nucleus?
||I always thought that water vapor stays separate of the
nitrogen (and some of the oxygen) and "floats" up due to
gravity and the diff in it's weight vs. the other gases.
(H2O=10, N2=14, O2=16). So that isn't so either?
||Hey these things should be tried out in class and discussed
at grade school!
||ok. updated illustration. cup is sealed to side pushing oxygen
out (wire enters on that side). Only hydrogen fills the
balloon. And added a third illustration with a better
contraption for that.
||// Only hydrogen fills the balloon. //
||<stomps off to find a cat do something unpleasant to>
||//So you're saying, once the two gases mix, they won't part into heavier and lighter materials. They'll become a mixture? //
||Have you ever noticed that there's plenty of oxygen down here where we are, instead of a thin layer of pure, dense CO2? No, mixed gases don't separate by density, at least not to any significant extent, over sensible timescales at reasonable temperatures. If you apply enough G-force, you can get a very slight fractionation, especially if the gas molecules are heavy enough (eg, UF6).
||The same applies to water vapour, which is just a gas (considerably lighter than oxygen or nitrogen, of course). And, to clarify, if you can see "water vapour" (as in clouds or fog or steam), you're not seeing water vapour - you're seeing condensed water (tiny droplets of liquid). If you look at your kettle next time it boils, you'll notice that the fog only appears slightly above the kettle, as the steam (invisible) starts to condense into water droplets.
||Incidentally, if you're running power and water to your balloons, why not just make a steam balloon? The technology is well-tried (Google "steam balloon"). You just need a boiler at the base of the balloon that boils water, filling the balloon with steam (molar mass=18, as opposed to air with an average molar mass of 29 or so). Steam that condenses on the walls of the balloon can be fed back to the boiler.
||A 24 litre balloon full of hydrogen will give you a lift of about 29-2=27 grams; a 24 litre balloon full of steam will give you a lift of 29-18=11 grams - not so bad.