Chinese clean energy company, Hanergy Group, has launched a solar powered umbrella meant to light up African villages and provide a cost efficient and environmentally friendly solution compared to other sources of energy. The “Humbrella” converts sunshine to energy and stores as much as 4000 mAh electricity.

Hanergy Group Holdings is a multinational clean energy company with a wide range of mobile energy solutions, covering hydropower, wind power and solar power. Thin-film solar power research and development has been the main focus at the company since 2009, resulting in this year’s launch of the Humbrella.

Solar umbrella designed

According to the company, the Humbrella can provide 10 hours worth of reading time for children or smartphone charging for more than 10 3000 mAh. It has four USB ports located on the shaft of the umbrella that could be used to plug in lamps, small fans, and electric insect repellents, among other things. The Humbrella leverages thin-film solar power generation to directly convert solar energy into electricity, and is 2.7 meters wide and weighs 8.8kg.

“Humbrella combines the world’s highest conversion efficiency thin-films solar panels with the common umbrella. The Humbrella combines four functions including off-grid power supply, electricity storage, night lighting and terminal charging. This innovation is bound to offer a revolutionary alternative to African homes that lack the vital power supply for duties around the homestead, however most important is its ability to enable the smooth studying of children,” says Vice President of Hanergy Group, Lyu Yuan.

“Under weak light, our solar panel can still work. If there is a cloudy day, there is still light outside so the amount of electricity will be reduced but still be produced. At the same time, if you want to use huge electricity, both solar panel and stored battery will work together,” adds An Rongbang, President of Hanergy Global Application Product Development Center.

Hanergy Group has pledged to roll out over one million Yuan (almost R2 million) worth of Humbrellas to children in Africa within the next two months. “Hanergy has the best film technology and we thought we wanted to use this technology for our local friends, to fit their needs. We pushed the R and D (Research and Development) people and the marketing people to find a way,” Rongbang says.

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