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Old 07-09-2010, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I want to build a liquid cooling shirt

My car gets really hot in the summer. I've measured 15°F above ambient on a sunny day with the windows down. I've also suffered heat-related illness after 8 hours in the car at 100°F, though that was in May when I was still conditioned for winter.

I want to load ice into a large cooler in my trunk. A pump will draw liquid water from the bottom of the cooler and move the cold water near the driver's skin, then a return hose will send the hot water back to the cooler. It might be a very efficient system since it cools only the driver. I figure you'd burn through about a kilogram or two of ice an hour, so a large 40Qt Igloo cooler holding 25kg of ice could potentially last all day.

I was going to use a washer fluid pump, since it's 12V and I already have two spares lying around. Hoses: vinyl and/or neoprene, should come in under $10.

The only part I haven't figured out yet is the driver-to-water heat exchanger. Has anyone else built one? I'd need a tubing with small bend radius and good thermal conductivity, which has me thinking about copper. But vinyl might be more comfortable, and less likely to kink if you rest your weight on it. Thoughts?

There are liquid cooling vests available, such as the (probably a thousand dollars) and CoolShirt ($140).

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Old 07-09-2010, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What about using two layers of plastic (like laminating film)? You bond them together around the edges and in multiple places in the middle like spot welds (so it doesn't balloon out too much). Get an inlet/outlet and you're set to attach it to whatever you want.

We use something similar as a cooler at work. They call it a pillow plate, but its made of steel. It looks like this:






The only other thing I've seen besides the very expensive ones was someone here was making a liquid cooled seat where he was embedding the tubes into his driver's seat.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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found it:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...er+cooled+seat
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just buy a mesh safety vest and weave some small size tubing into the mesh. It will be easy to slip on or off and will still breath well.

You actually DO NOT want the high transfer rate that copper tubing would offer because it would be almost painfully cold. It would also be uncomfortable to lean against.
You won't need a very high flow rate, so you can try a windshield wiper pump first. But any submersible pump will work fine. Even AC fountain pumps will work if you power them through an inverter.
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...fm?pcatid=8164

Last edited by captainslug; 07-09-2010 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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another great idea
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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RobertSmalls -

Here's a less efficient way :

1 - Get a fishing jacket.
2 - Get a bunch of $1 mini ice-pack thingies that look similar to this :



3 - Fill every pocket with them.
4 - They only last maybe 2 hours. So, for the long 8 hour trips, keep a bunch in a cooler.

I get the rigid ones in hard plastic because I am afraid of leaks (but the hard plastic ones can also leak at their cap). The problem with that is that I can't have them between my back and the seat, otherwise I could risk serious injury in an accident.

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Old 07-09-2010, 07:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Would think modifying a seat cover may be better...also gets a better reaction from any police that may pull you over..."hello sir, why do you have wires coming out your jacket, and it's very bulky sir....no sudden moves....."

I use frozen bottles of water in my inside jacket pockets when travelling in the underground in london....can also then drink it if needed :-)
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe you should think about the cause of the problem, try some insulation in the firewall and floor. Check your exhaust system for clearance and move it away if need be. Or maybe add a heat sheild so the heat isn't in direct line with the floor.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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IMA Tech - the major source of heat is from the air and through the windshield. On some days, I'm uncomfortable even outside the car.

Carlos - Target has those for $1, and big ones for $2. Cheap and very easy.

Daox, that looks like a useful material. But I'm not familiar with it, and I'd really hate to spring a leak on the road due to poor workmanship. You'd also have to make several seals inside the material so as to define a flow path throughout it.

The chilled seat idea has merit, but I really don't plan to use this more than two months out of the year. I'm leaning towards a chilled seat cover. There's nothing to entangle you as you move around in the car, there's plenty of contact with your back which would otherwise be swampy, and it leaves your chest still exposed to cooling air from the fan and open windows (if need be).

I checked out a few materials at the pet store, and I think thin vinyl tubing is the way to go. It's cheap, and the smaller stuff has a good bend radius. I guess I need to go to the fabric store and find something I can stitch tubing into, then throw it over the headrest and... I dunno, velcro it in place?

I'm not excited about the washer pump. Any ideas where I can find a cheap inline 12V pump rated for continuous operation?
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, a fishtank pump might work out for you... how about those kits they sell for trans fluid pumps for flat towing automatic cars?

Um... You could get a drill-powered fluid pump and attach a small RC motor to it?

I hardly think the motor should be a cause for concern... there are literally 100's of options.

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