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Inflatable solar concentrator balloon method and apparatus

Image Number 11 for United States Patent #8074638.

Embodiments of the present invention relate to concentrating solar radiation using an assembly of at least one clear and one reflective film that inflates into a shape reflecting parallel rays of light to a concentrated focus in the interior or immediate proximity of the assembly. Embodiments of the present invention can be assembled in a substantially flat stack with bonds or welds between the films, compatible with conventional high-throughput film manufacturing processes. Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may employ external circumferential rings or a "harness" assembly to support and point the balloon against wind forces and the like without severe stress localization. Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may also employ film attachments to facilitate feedthroughs, reduce stress concentrations, and modify the inflated shape. Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may also employ film modifiers, including laminated films, adhesives, printing, etc. to facilitate installation, feedthroughs, and other functions.

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