The first batch of the Humbrella, a solar-powered umbrella from Hanergy, are heading to regions of Africa where people suffer from shortages of electricity.
In some parts of Africa the lack of electricity routinely prevents children from having enough time for studying. With Humbrella, children in these regions will be able to enjoy more high-quality reading time, the company said in an announcement.
Hanergy, a multinational clean energy company, in May launched the “Humbrella,” a thin-film solar powered umbrella to provide clean, free and consistent electricity to people in energy-scarce areas of the world. To support the “Lighting Africa” project, Hanergy donated the first batch of a million RMB (US$160,000) solar-powered umbrellas.
“Hanergy has been striving to leverage our world-leading thin-film technology to provide accessible and clean energy to the world,” said Hanergy CEO Li Hejun. “Humbrella is the latest addition to our growing roster of mobile energy solutions. With our unique technological strength and R&D commitment, we are confident that our products can transform many industries to make them much more green and efficient.”
The Humbrella integrates functions including off-grid power supply, electricity storage, night lighting, and terminal charging. It can collect sunshine and convert it into electricity and save up to 40000 mAh of power, enough for 10 hours of high-quality night reading time. In addition to lighting, the Humbrella can charge several mobile phones or small appliances like an electric mosquito repellent via four USB ports built into the handle of the umbrella. The Humbrella has a diameter of 2.7 meters and weighs only 8.8 kilograms due to Hanergy’s light and flexible thin-film solar panels.
Hanergy’s thin film technology currently holds several world records. In February 2018, Hanergy’s US-based subsidiary Alta Devices’ newest solar production module was rated by German solar energy testing laboratory Fraunhofer ISE CalLab PV Modules as the highest efficiency single-junction solar module ever produced in the world with 25.1 percent conversion efficiency. In the same month, another German testing laboratory, TÜV Rheinland, rated Hanergy’s Germany-based subsidiary Solibro’s double glass copper indium gallium selenium (CIGS) solar module as the most efficient glass substrate CIGS module in the world, with a record 18.72 percent aperture area efficiency.
The company recently unveiled its next-generation Hantile, an upgrade to the company’s revolutionary roofing solution combining thin-film solar panels with traditional roof tiles. Hanergy has pioneered the use of ultra-white tempered glass, which features a transmittance level of 91.5 percent, and possesses extreme durability and ability to withstand heavy impacts. The single glass Hantile is also highly wind resistant and able to generate power at temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius, and humidity higher than 85 percent. The Hantile has a life cycle of up to 30 years, longer than traditional roof tiles.
In terms of applications in the transportation industry, other than developing its own solar vehicles, Hanergy’s U.S. subsidiary Alta Devices recently cooperated with German car maker Audi to integrate solar cells into panoramic glass automobile roofs. Hanergy has also cooperated with major bike sharing companies, including Mobike, 99 Bicycle and MTBike to integrate thin-film solar panels into the bodies of more than 15 million bicycles over the next three years.