Solar umbrella uses the sun to cool you down


Umbrellas are a sight that can be seen everywhere on coastal beaches, which can shield the hot sun. Therefore, it makes sense that the same type of umbrella can be decorated with solar panels, which can collect solar energy to provide a cooling effect.

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Sammontana, Italy’s leading ice cream and frozen dessert brand, raised its sustainability goals in 2016, inspired by United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsTo achieve these goals, the company sought help from the international design and innovation company Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and architect Italo Rota to develop the umbrella.

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People sitting on beach chairs under yellow and tan solar beach umbrellas

“The project is based on Sammontana’s goal of reducing the environmental impact that may be applicable to Italian beaches-this is the iconic backdrop for the supply of Sammontana, marking the most pleasant and joyful moments of summer,” Sammontana’s head of communication and image Sibilla Bagnoli speaks of Italy. “For many years, our company has been focusing on such special environments, trying to welcome the public, manage services and innovation in new ways, while protecting the environment. surroundings. “

Folded beach umbrella

A key element of this umbrella is its unfolded photovoltaic array, which was designed in collaboration with Harvard University professor Chuck Hoberman, who has been developing deformable structures for the past four years. The final design is based on the photovoltaic system on NASA’s spacecraft.

Worm-eye view of open beach umbrella

The origami umbrella is 8.2 feet high and 10.5 feet wide, much like any other beach umbrella.However, this umbrella is a statement energy efficiency With adjustable foldable panel to get the best sunlight. The electricity generated in this process is then used for refrigeration and cooling in the form of mini refrigerators filled with cold drinks and refreshing sprays. Several umbrellas connected together have the potential to cool a larger ice cream freezer, or further expand in various ways to power beach resorts.

The person who repositions the umbrella

“Can we use the power of abundant sunlight in summer to make our holiday experience more sustainable?” asked Carlo Ratti, the founder of CRA and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The design concept for this project started with the use of solar power to cool the space under the umbrella-and then scale it up to provide electricity for any beach resort. We are very pleased that Sammontana invited us to develop this project, because both of our organizations have a strong interest in the environment and humanity. Well-being has a common firm commitment.”

The first prototype Solar energy Starting on June 12, 2021, beach umbrellas will be displayed in the Biblioteca degli Alberi Milano Park in the center of Milan, Italy.

+ Corolla Association

Image courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati



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