Center for Open Shade Balls

What does it actually take to stop a hurricane with shade balls? We're trying to find out. Here's what we know.

What are Shade Balls

Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?

Shade balls are a class of objects that block or reflect radiation. The provide a physical barrier between volumes of matter that typically have reflective or insulative properties. other types of shade balls for particular applications, such as shade balls with carbon black in them that are optimized for shade provision over reflectivity.

Note that the shape of a shade ball is not limited to spherical, but could in fact be designed to interlock, stack, tesselate, or have many other properties. Why would they be called balls, if they technically can be other shapes?

Assume a spherical cow

Flying shade balls

Flying shade balls can be as simple as weather balloons. Pitting the simple weather balloon against a hurricane might actually be an effective way to battle convection currents by linking balloons together at a front, and then pulling on the barrier it should be possible to redirect air that could have contributed to the destructive force of a hurricane in a different direction, perhaps even finding a direction that can negate some of the power of the hurricane.

Shade Balls on Land

Technically the heat resistant tiles on the space shuttle could be considered shade balls.

Minimizing Cost

Minimizing cost is the primary goal of competitions centered around shade ball production

Minimize shipping

Shipping and packaging is a large segment of the cost of shade balls, as their actual cost is already so low. In order to minimize the cost of delivery, long hauls should be removed from the supply chain in order to leave just the last mile delivery to compete in.

On-Site Production

Production on-site can ameliorate the need to have long-distance shipping to deliver shade balls to a location. This is only possible because the plastic shade balls can be made from can be sourced on-location from the water in the ocean and the carbon dioxide in the air.

Powering Production

Powering productioin needs to be done in a compact and robust way. These production facilities are being designed to survive hurricane conditions.


During times at which the ocean is peaceful, solar might make a nice green way to power shade ball production,