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Helium Balloons Calculator

This calculator helps you figure out how many balloons you need to inflate to reach the desired altitude!

helium balloons calculator

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Table of contents

Why helium balloons float
How many balloons can lift a person
How much weight does a 11" helium-filled balloon lift?
Why balloons float
How to inflate a helium balloon
How many balloons, filled with helium, would you need to lift a kilogram?

Why helium balloons float

Before we figure out how many helium balloons will lift a person, we need to understand something about gases and air. Gases are substances that don't have a solid form, like helium. When you breathe in and out, you are exchanging air with the surrounding environment. This happens because gases are invisible and they take up space, just like water does in a balloon.
Helium has a less dense physical properties than air, permitting helium to rise when combined with it. This happened with the balloon experiment, in which a balloon was filled with helium gas and the helium started to move up because the air it was combined with had a lower density.
Helium has about the same density as air, which means a balloon filled with helium will have about the same lifting force as if it were filled with air. Most of this lifting force comes from the amount of gas that is displaced by the balloon - 0.1785 grams per liter. So, as long as we take into account how much gas is displaced and how much it weighs, we can estimate how much lift the balloon will have.
Helium is the most common type of balloon, and it is often used in novelty or promotional items. Other gases that are lighter than air, such as hydrogen, ammonia, or methane, are not commonly used in balloons. Nevertheless, you can change the gas type in this helium balloons calculator to compare between them and helium.

How many balloons can lift a person

You've already learned how to work with units in the previous section, so let's move on to the calculations. As you remember, the lifting force of helium is approximately 1 gram per liter. So, if you have 10 liters of helium, you will need 100 balloons to create the lift.
Aerodynamic drag effects on a pilot flying at FL260 include the weight of the aircraft, the pilot, fuel, passenger(s), and cargo. Every gram of weight contributes to drag, so it is important to include everything that will be flying when determining your weight.
In the advanced mode, you can choose the size of the balloon. Let's say you're using regular balloons from an amusement park, with a diameter of 30 centimeters (11 inches). In the advanced mode, you can enter the custom size of the balloon.
Given a balloon with a known volume and a cylindrical container with a known width and height, calculate the volume of the balloon inside the container.
Convert your weight to grams.
To make sure that the balloon doesn't go too high, we'll need to calculate the lifting force of helium using a simple formula. If you're doing the calculations by hand, you surely could use the force of one gram per liter!
To find out how many balloons it would take to lift a person with a volume of helium, divide the total volume of helium needed by the volume of a balloon.

How much weight does a 11" helium-filled balloon lift?

You'll need around 12 grams of helium to fill a balloon with the desired lift. Following the steps will help you find this exact amount:
To approximate the volume of the balloon to a sphere, we'll use the following equation: V = πr3. Here, V is the approximate volume of the balloon, π is the Pi constant, and r is the radius of the sphere. Plugging in values for r and π, we get V = 9.8π13.97 cm.
To calculate the lift weight for a helium-filled balloon, multiply the balloon’s volume by its mass and then divide by the number of grams that one liter of helium can lift.
volume: V = 4/3 × π × r³ = 4/3 × π × 13.97³ = 11420.3cm³ = 11.420 L
mass: m = 11.420 L × 1.0715 g/L = 12.2 g

Why balloons float

During combustion, sulfur and other air pollutants can form dangerous compounds called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs have a high vapor pressure, meaning they can escape easily into the atmosphere. Although hydrogen is the preferred fuel for fuel cells, it has a low vapor pressure and is thus not ideal for combustion.
When materials float, the physical principle underlying this behavior is buoyancy: the relationship between materials with different densities in water, atmosphere, or any other fluid! This principle explains how things like boats and balloons stay afloat, and it is what allows us to lift objects with a weight on top.

How to inflate a helium balloon

In order to fill your balloon with helium, you will first need to purchase a canister of the gas. Helium can only be found as a byproduct of natural gas extraction, so you will need to connect the tank to the balloon. Once it is connected, release the helium until it is full. Make sure to close the valve tightly once the helium has been released-helium typically escapes faster than air from a balloon. Once the balloon is tied up, don't remove your hands from it until you've released the balloon!

How many balloons, filled with helium, would you need to lift a kilogram?

You would need 88 balloons for this. But we would suggest you use more just in case. You can use the following to calculate this number:
In order to calculate the approximate volume of helium that can lift 1 kg, we would need to know the following: the weight of the helium, V; the density of helium, g/L; and the volume of helium, L.
V = 1,000 g/1.0 g/L = 1,000 L
To calculate the percentage of gas remaining in a balloon, divide the result by the volume of a balloon that is the same size and has a radius of 13.97 cm.
v = 4/3 × π × r³ = 4/3 × π × 13.97³ = 11420.3cm³ = 11.420 L
N = 1,000/11.420 = 87.57 ~ 88

Parmis Kazemi
Article author
Parmis Kazemi
Parmis is a content creator who has a passion for writing and creating new things. She is also highly interested in tech and enjoys learning new things.

Helium Balloons Calculator English
Published: Thu Aug 25 2022
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