Innovation of the Week

These cooling helmets save construction workers from searing heat

Even better: They're solar powered

Qatar's solar-powered helmets.

"Construction can be hard, hot work at the best of times," said Zahraa Alkhalisi at CNN, but imagine building a soccer stadium in the Qatari ­desert, where "temperatures can soar to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer." Construction is now well underway on eight new stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in several cities across Qatar, and researchers have developed a self-cooling hard hat to help workers cope with the country's searing heat.

Courtesy image

The solar-powered helmets contain a small fan that blows air over a special insert in the helmet lining "that can absorb and store a large amount of heat." Researchers say the hard hats reduce skin temperature by as much as 50 degrees, with each insert providing cooling for up to four hours. "Qatar says it has already received interest in the product from potential customers in Mexico, South Korea, Egypt, and Singapore."

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