In anticipation of extreme heat during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scientists and engineers at Qatar University have developed a solar-powered gas-filled cloud that will shade spectators and athletes from the roaring sun. The $500,000 artificial clouds can be positioned over any of the stadiums in Qatar and can be maneuvered with a remote control from the ground to keep the passing sun off the field. While we think it’s cool (literally) that they want to shade the arena (saving on energy used to cool it) we’re a bit baffled as to why they wouldn’t just build a simple solar shade over it instead.
The head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department, Saud Abdul Ghani, told Gulf News that the clouds would be made from a lightweight carbon structure that surrounds an enclosed blimp-like vehicle filled with helium gas. The clouds would fly at very high altitudes therefore blocking out direct and indirect rays from the sun — and by doing so, decreasing temperatures inside the stadium.
The mechanical clouds are designed to be powered by four solar-powered engines — if you’re meant to block out the sun you might as well use that available energy for something good — and will be able to follow the sun’s east to west trajectory. Though the clouds are just in the design phase, engineers in Qatar have a full 11 years to finish the design and build process before the World Cup crowds hit the streets of the Middle East.