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LEDzep – Balloon research

Just a little review of my research about the balloon material.

Theoretically, we have two options : we can either do it ourself, or buy latex balloons. The second solution seems better.

Doing some homemade handcraft sounds hazardous : I have a really unclear idea of the material (survival blanket, transparent bin bag ?) or the technique to use, the scotch or whatever we use will be heavy, and we will spend our time sealing leaks …  One the other hand, buying a lot of balloon has a cost. And not every kind of size/color/material can be found.

I’ve found two companies specialized in latex balloons, doing approximately what we want : Qualatex (http://www.qualatex.com/) and Sempertex (http://sempertex.com/)

A few models that could fit us :

We also have to know that such balloon filled with helium will stay filled 2 days maximum. We can improve that by using some kind of float extender product (http://issuu.com/pioneer1/docs/2013_pel_catalogue?e=4272177/1511762 page 140), but it also has a cost.

Last thing to conclude that post : Helium. Expensive (~20e/m3). Haven’t decide yet which kind of supplier we will buy from.

 

 

5 comments to LEDzep – Balloon research

  • Phh

    How is one cubic meter at 20e expensive?!?
    Let’s assume you fill balloons everyday, 90 days, that still makes 10 liters per day with just one cubic meter…
    I can’t really see how you could spend more than 10 cubic meters in the process…

  • One of the least expensive shop I found in France is this one : http://www.supersoiree.com/fr/w16366/location-helium.html. Helium is around 20€/m3.
    Now take this balloon, http://bit.ly/1fpFeUo : 1m diam, 3 to 4 days He retention, 340g lifting. Needs 0.43m3 He.
    Take this one which lasts longer, http://bit.ly/1c5Tjpr (4 to 5 days) and lifts more (770g) : needs 1.20m3 He.

    With a He bottle of 9m3, we could blow 20 balloons of the first kind, and only 7 balloons of the second kind. Quite expensive indeed…

  • sylvain

    Have you thought, in order to save helium, about using the calories exiting from your chip to heat up the air inside your balloon and make it raise? 🙂
    Anyway there are some pretty interesting problems to deal with in your project, can’t wait to see the solutions you’re gonna implement!

  • I thought about it but
    http://www.odpf.org/anterieures/xviii/gr-2/pdf/memoire_2.pdf
    those guys used a huge balloon and a wired hairdryer to keep a payload of 80g in the air
    And also, the balloon is black (to keep the heat), which is not a good idea for a balloon intending to be luminous

  • Phh

    Oh, actually, I’d heard more of the 60cm model, and I (totally wrongly indeed) assumed a zeppelin shape, which makes the volume way tinier, thanks Alexis 🙂