Solar Powered Clouds
In anticipation of extreme heat during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scientists and engineers at Qatar
University have developed a solar-powered gas-fi lled cloud that will shade spectators and athletes
from the roaring sun. The $500,000 artifi cial 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 fi eld.
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 blimplike
vehicle fi lled with helium gas. The clouds would fl y 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.