What the StratoSolar PV system does:
* Weather independent, photovoltaic solar power (PV)
* Locations up to latitude 60 produce market competitive electricity
* Electricity in utility scale systems from 10 MW to 1 GW in modular increments
* Cost competitive electricity without subsidy
Varying degrees of tracking are possible, and real systems will have results intermediate between flat plate and 2-axis tracking. At 20km sunlight can exceed 1.3kW/m2, which explains utilizations that exceed the theoretical 50% maximum achievable on the ground.
Stratosolar has a 23 page economic analysis of their system.
Nextbigfuture previously had an exclusive Sander Olson interview with Stratosolar president Edmund Kelly.
The OilDrum has an interview with Keith Henson (volunteer engineer with Stratosolar) about Stratosolar
A permanent high altitude platform could serve many additional purposes. Listed below are some examples of possible uses.
* Communications and observation platform
o Cell phone tower, data networks
o Radar for weather, commercial, military
o Science: astronomy, meteorology, earth science
o Laser communications network