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Cumulus Solar-Powered Patio Umbrella

By: on July 10, 2014
$630
from
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Clouds might be the new bacon. First they appeared in the sky (where their reign, like bacon's alongside a plate of scrambled eggs, is still very strong.) Then they showed up as an abstruse term for virtual storage/intangible nothingness. More recently we've seen Richard Clarkson's indoor Cloud, a decorative light with storm effects. And now, now the climatological phenomenon has moved into the world of patio furniture. Check out Cumulus, Netherlands-based Studio Toer's self-inflating parasol that puffs open into a cloud of shade when hit by the sun. (Watch a pop-up GIF of it popping up here.)

Cumulus self-inflates to a fully open umbrella in about 20 seconds when its top side solar panels sense the rays of the sun. It has a diameter of just of 6-1/2'. While the parasol is not fitted with a metal core, Studio Toer says its aerodynamic shape when inflated keeps it aloft and stable during windy weather, and a nylon surface makes it durable, lightweight, and strong.

Cumulus' technical operations begin with the solar panels, which send power to a fan when they absorb enough sunlight. The fan inflates the cloud and keeps it open until the sun goes away, at which point deflation occurs automatically. The umbrella can also be switched off via an integrated pole switch.

Muchas danke to Laughing Squid.

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