A strategic partnership that began in early 2008 is expecting to soon release the fruits of their labors. With a mission to develop an efficient way to harness the sun’s energy while at the same time providing respite from it’s heat and UV rays, Konarka Technologies, Inc. and SKYShades have created what they are calling the Powerbrella.
The Powerbrella is a retractable alfresco umbrella that converts sunlight into electricity which can then be used to charge the batteries of laptops, mobile phones, iPods or any other portable device directly from the umbrella itself. By combining Konarka’s lightweight photovoltaic materials, which are said to be more versatile than traditional solar materials, with the tension membrane fabric used by Skyshades; the two companies believe they’ve developed a product that will be ideal for any outdoor locations where people want to both enjoy the fresh air while at the same time remain electronically connected.
Our friends at Gizmag note that with testing of the Powerbrella having successfully taken place throughout 2008, it appears the state of the art battery-charging umbrella will now become commercially available in the middle of summer. Not a bad time to release a product that relies on the sun in more ways than one