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Helium filled quilted Mylar sun screen
  [vote for,

Mylar helium balloons seem to hold on to the helium very well. Much better than the latex or rubber ones.

So, create a quilted Mylar tarpaulin, fill it with helium and stake it to the ground with lightweight cord so that it flies about 6 or 8 feet above the ground as a sun shade.

The silvered Mylar offers excellent sunlight resistance and repels the UV-A and B and all that, too. The quilting allows you to fold it while it is charged with helium. You can store it in a bag. It'd be lightweight.

bristolz, Feb 08 2005

Helium-filled quilted Mylar sun shade ~bz [bristolz, Feb 08 2005, last modified Jun 28 2005]

Helium filled sun shade http://patft1.uspto...76029&RS=PN/5076029
US Patent 5,076,029. Listed under "Bizarre Patents" on a sidebar of www.patentstorm.us (which had no link to anything so I went elsewhere) [half, Apr 18 2006]


       Awesome. The solar hot air version could be handy too.   

       I want one, but I'd only use it on windless days [+]
normzone, Feb 08 2005

       Yeah, wind might be a bit of a problem.
bristolz, Feb 08 2005

       Aluminized Mylar could focus solar energy for thermal or Photovoltaic energy collection for later use, too!
csea, Feb 08 2005

       Good 1.
FarmerJohn, Feb 08 2005

       [Brau] I think you're overestimating the lifting power of helium.   

       [bz] Love it. I'm picturing a crowded beach covered with these, all but blocking out the sun.
Worldgineer, Feb 09 2005

       Not just a good idea, but easily made too. I've often thought that we should have some tag like [viable] for ideas that make commercial sense. This would enable unimaginative money-grabbers to search the bakery for ideas that they can pilfer and profit from. Which would be better than all these great ideas lying here for ever and no one doing anything about them.
wagster, Feb 09 2005

       //no one doing anything about them// Hey, we build them sometimes. For instance, I'm planning on building a prototype of "Long skinny toast". Eventually.
Worldgineer, Feb 09 2005

       I made some Toastie Bread Balls. They were great.
wagster, Feb 09 2005

       Would this have a tendency to lift high in the center, thus drawing the corners together and winding up not nearly as flat and canopy-like as the illustration?
half, Feb 09 2005

       Depends on stiffness, buoyancy, and wind. Wind matters because the surface would act a bit like a wing and create a vacuum just downwind of the center, pulling upward near the center. Of course, if this is an issue you can add a center rope.
Worldgineer, Feb 09 2005

       The stiffness is non-existent if it can be folded while charged with helium.   

       Maybe just a weight of some sort in the center would do the job.   

       Staking the tethers out further from the corners of the canopy might work.   

       I guess the helium pockets could occupy diminishing amounts of the overall area toward the center to balance the buoyancy.   

       For some reason, a hexagonal version of this seems appealing.   

       Just pondering.
half, Feb 09 2005

       // Would this have a tendency to lift high in the center, thus drawing the corners together and winding up not nearly as flat and canopy-like as the illustration?//   

       If you had a set of lines, running from the mid-point of the downlines and running at at angle to the center, this should be minimized.   

       Great idea [+]
Klaatu, Feb 09 2005

       Playing off the helium and the name "EZ Up Canopy", (a widely known brand of canopy) "Heli-Up Canopy".
half, Feb 09 2005

       Buoynopy? Blimpopy? Canopimp?
Worldgineer, Feb 09 2005


       Comes with origami style folding instructions for stowage - "make animals like the heli-up-otamus".
half, Feb 09 2005

       Worried about your portable floating sun guard bunching up and ballooning away?   

       HAVE NO FEAR!! Now with the "hanging beer" option, all you do is hook an adjustable length nylon rope from the center of the top. The bottom is outfitted with a beverage holder. Simply position your beach chair and tilt the can back. [+]
Blumster, Feb 10 2005

       Parasail-Parasol or Shade-He?
FarmerJohn, Feb 10 2005

       Aw, guys, you're asking all the hard questions. I haven't any idea how it would actually "fly." Hopefully like I have it illustrated. Maybe the tie down lines would need to be drawn apart further? Or like [Klaatu] suggested but I'd be worried about the additional line weight.   

       Yeah, "helicanopy" is a lame name.
bristolz, Feb 10 2005

       I don't think so.
Although levitarp has a ring to it.

       Withdrawn. The jury is instructed to disregard the question.
half, Feb 10 2005

       Oh dear, I wasn't that serious.   

       I like levitarp, too, just not enough to change the title ;-)
bristolz, Feb 10 2005

       If tensioning cords were tied across the top, from one side to the other, then perhaps the upwards bulging in the centre could be reduced. Yet it could still be folded the other way.
The 'holding down' weight could be a small cylinder and hand/battery pump which re-compresses the helium back into the cylinder at, say, 10 bar which means approx 10% of original canopy volume. This would be much more expensive, unless the spare tyre was used or something like that (not 10 bar, I know).
Ling, Feb 10 2005

       In order for guy lines to be effective as a stable anchoring system, they need to be tensioned up quite a lot. This would require a lot of upward force from the canopy. I can't see this canopy being 'free standing' I think it needs structure on at least two corners, or along at least one side. I think this technology would have a better future for covering large indoor spaces, like stadiums. It could be retro fit to a structure and it could be retractable.
Ganz Logisch, Feb 10 2005

       I'd guess that you don't need Helium at all for this. You can buy mini hot air ballons which are made from black plastic - all you have to do is to leave them in the sun for a bit and they will fly. This idea would just need several of these to cast a decent amount of shade.
hippo, Feb 10 2005

       I think it's a great idea, but only if there were segregatated beachs. The ones with the helis, would be great for children and old folk, who don't like to sun, and/or see anything but pristene beach in all directions. So +, if instead of the infamous California nudist beachs of the 60's and 70's, these would be called, "Beach Helicanopys", or something.
blissmiss, Feb 10 2005

       From some research I did a while ago into an undercooked idea, I seem to remember that roughly 1 m3 of helium at 1 bar will lift 1kg.
marklar, May 09 2007

       Having a conversation with someone while standing under one of these would be a very silly experience.
zen_tom, May 09 2007

       It would be nice to have a patterned layer of reflective vs transparent material, creating a dappled effect, like standing in a forest...
bumhat, May 09 2007

       [zt] why?
Worldgineer, May 09 2007

       Brilliant, great artwork!
doctorremulac3, Sep 11 2022

       [half] "The stiffness is non-existent if it can be folded while charged with helium."   

       Could be designed such that the helium pressure gives it stiffness. Think of an inflatable kayak.
Worldgineer, Dec 09 2022


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