Architecture

Personal Cloud aims to hit and mist

Personal Cloud aims to hit and...
Carlo Ratti Associati's Personal Cloud detects when individuals walk below it and sprays them with cooling mist (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
Carlo Ratti Associati's Personal Cloud detects when individuals walk below it and sprays them with cooling mist (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
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Carlo Ratti Associati's Personal Cloud detects when individuals walk below it and sprays them with cooling mist (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
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Carlo Ratti Associati's Personal Cloud detects when individuals walk below it and sprays them with cooling mist (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
Personal Cloud comprises tubes that hang from a canopy and spray mist when an individual is detected (Photo: Silvia Boschiero)
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Personal Cloud comprises tubes that hang from a canopy and spray mist when an individual is detected (Photo: Silvia Boschiero)
Ultrasonic sensors are used to detect when people move underneath Personal Cloud (Photo: Silvia Boschiero)
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Ultrasonic sensors are used to detect when people move underneath Personal Cloud (Photo: Silvia Boschiero)
Personal Cloud only sprays mist from tubes under which individuals are detected (Photo: Matt Cottam/Tellart)
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Personal Cloud only sprays mist from tubes under which individuals are detected (Photo: Matt Cottam/Tellart)
When a person is detected underneath specific sensors, hydro-valves and LED lights in the surrounding tubes are activated (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
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When a person is detected underneath specific sensors, hydro-valves and LED lights in the surrounding tubes are activated (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
A person walking underneath Personal Cloud (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
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A person walking underneath Personal Cloud (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
View gallery - 6 images

One way of keeping people cool in hot climates is to spray a cool mist through which they can walk. Spraying mist continuously, however, can use a lot of water. A new installation called Personal Cloud reduces the amount of water used by detecting passersby and targeting mist at them only.

Personal Cloud was conceived by Italy's Carlo Ratti Associati architectural firm. The company explains that the evaporative cooling process it employs is more energy-efficient than air conditioning, but that by being more targeted at where the mist is sprayed, can be more efficient still.

"In traditional systems, a lot of energy and water are consumed by cooling outdoor spaces, even when these spaces are sparsely used," says Carlo Ratti in a press release. "In our project, we focus misting on people, which is considerably more energy efficient."

When a person is detected underneath specific sensors, hydro-valves and LED lights in the surrounding tubes are activated (Photo: Pietro Leoni)
When a person is detected underneath specific sensors, hydro-valves and LED lights in the surrounding tubes are activated (Photo: Pietro Leoni)

Personal Cloud comprises a swarm of tubes that hang down from a canopy, and from which mist is sprayed. The system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect when people move underneath them by measuring the time taken for an ultrasound signal to be sent and the echo received.

When a person is detected underneath specific sensors, hydro-valves and LED lights in the surrounding tubes are activated. This creates a personal cloud of mist around the individual that moves with them as they pass under the installation, and avoids the need to activate the whole installation in one go. The LEDs, meanwhile, create a backlit visual effect.

Personal Cloud was developed for and unveiled at the UAE Government Summit this week. Carlo Ratti tells Gizmag that plans to roll out the installation commercially will likely be developed in the near future.

The video below shows Personal Cloud in action.

Source: Carlo Ratti Associati

Personal Cloud installation at the UAE Government Summit

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
Bob Flint
I have seen simple variations of this outdoors in Singapore with average temperature 30 degrees C and 85% humidity by having a mist sprayed in front of a big fan, it cools very well and if placed with the wind even more effective.
Not competitive to AC indoors with a controlled climate.
Daishi
Mist does wonders for outdoor cooling. For anyone interested but who doesn't have the budget for something as elaborate as this you can get outdoor misting systems from home depot for about $30.
They aren't nearly this fancy but a system that mists based on your movement would have to analyze your path and "lead the target" which might not be very easy to do. If the nozzles only mist as you pass under them its sure to miss you unless you stand still.
Gregg Eshelman
Ultrasonic "mist pumps" produce a water vapor that cools yet is practically dry. You have to hold a hand in the mist a long time before it begins to collect enough vapor to get wet.
Just don't insert any body parts into the vertical 'spike' of water these things create above the transducer, especially not at the top where the water is being ripped apart by the focused ultrasound. I know someone who did that just for an instant and he got a little painful bruise on a finger, which took a long time to heal.