When vacations become ecological, thanks to an Italian parasol
Italy, with beautiful but crowded beaches in the summer, is aware of this. Italians living in these coastal cities are well aware of the problem, and this year’s record heat in Europe has made it even more urgent. Fortunately, some enterprising designers and engineers are coming up with exciting solutions. One of them, authentically seaside, is the Parelium solar umbrella.
This product is the result of the collaboration between the brilliant Italian architect Rota and the inventor Chuck Hobermann, who specializes in constructing retractable structures. Together they created a modern version of the classic beach umbrella, with a charismatic look inspired by origami.
The Parelio product is entirely original in that it reverses the direction of the umbrella, tilting it towards the sky so that its photovoltaic roof can absorb as much sunlight as possible. Despite the immediate visual contrast with typical beach accessories, Parelio remains flat enough to provide plenty of shade.
The umbrella draws sustainable energy from hot days on the beach. Its collapsible photovoltaic panels collect sunlight to reuse it in multiple ways.
Cools the surrounding environment, refrigerates drinks, recharges and powers electronics, and more. All of these “accessories” (coolers, sprayers, etc.) make the Parelio umbrella the perfect tool to enrich the relaxing and entertaining experience of patrons at beaches, restaurants, cafés or city parks.
The product’s strength is that it can be used on its own and as a network. Parelio is even more powerful. The system’s modular design allows multiple umbrellas to pool electricity to power an impressive variety of facilities, from ice cream coolers to an entire complex.
Increased traffic outside bars, restaurants and hotels won’t translate into higher electricity bills. The stored energy can even help out on the most “critical” nights or in the off-season.
The benefits of Parelio have already been measured in Milan, the cradle of the project, where the team conducted a successful test of the sunshade for eight weeks last summer. Fondazione Riccardo Catella hosted several umbrellas in an area of the BAM Park-Tree library, comforting citizens and visitors while collecting the results of simple aggregated displays.
There is no doubt that this product could be a hit in Florida and California.