Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Evaporative Uniform

For overheated army guys in the desert
  [vote for,

Non-eatable's A/C suit idea reminded me of an idea I had for the next gulf war. It must get damn hot in all of the high-tech gear the modern soldier has to carry on him/her in the desert. Air conditioning is heavy and uses up way too much power to be portable. Evaporative cooling, however, is very portable and is already used by most mammals. Now the idea...

Cut a large hole in the back of the standard high-tech desert attack suit. Replace this material with something absorbent - perhaps sponge material, maybe just cotton cloth. Attach a small container filled with water to the lower end of this material. This container will have a belt loop or hook to support the weight of the water on a standard waist belt. Before combat, the material is dampened and the container filled. As the water evaporates from the material, more is absorbed from the container. The container can be refilled whenever/wherever the soldier stops for water.

Worldgineer, Feb 18 2003

Spray evaporative cooling http://www.cloudtop...ersonal_cooling.htm
Cool in a bottle [FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

INTRODUCTION TO HEAT-RELATED http://www.bordenin...inMilitaryOpera.pdf
[duroncrush, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       This would turn troops into camels, yes?

The Camelflage suit.
pluterday, Feb 18 2003

       Kind of, yes. But that's easy. The real trick is turning camels into troops. Perhaps hump-mounted rocket launchers.
Worldgineer, Feb 18 2003

       The other trick is how to make it evaporative but not absorbitive of potential chemical surroundings. There might be some one-way materials out there that fit the bill.
RayfordSteele, Feb 18 2003

       That's easy enough - instead of a hole, use a thin chemically resistive sheet between the absorbant material and your skin. You lose some heat transfer, but are seperated from the environment.
Worldgineer, Feb 18 2003

       Couldn't you get the same (or better) effect by just dumping a bucket of water over the soldier?
waugsqueke, Feb 18 2003

       A similar effect, but there are several issues. First, you're wasting water - everything that runs off her/him won't be used in cooling. Second, whatever high-tech polymers are used these days are probably quite waterproof - the soldier won't get very wet or cool. Third, comfort issues - have you ever tried walking around in wet clothes? Your clothes get heavy and irritating. Now imagine having to walk around in wet clothes while people are shooting at you.
Worldgineer, Feb 18 2003

       This reminds me of the adaptive fabric idea - which now appears to be baked.   

       My favourite method of cooling is designed around passive wicking material to keep the body dry and mild active cooling of the head and neck.   

       The most energy efficient and reliable strategies in dry environments use evaporative cooling. See link.
FloridaManatee, Feb 19 2003

       Misting is nice, but not very water-efficient. You're effectively cooling the air around you, and this cool air will quickly blow away. Misting systems I've seen don't last for more than 30 minutes or so. With my Evoporative Uniform you're cooling the soldier directly.
Worldgineer, Feb 19 2003

       Suppose you do make this Evaporative Suit. How much water will you use? How do you prevent the sponge material from heating up? Why not put these sponge-like materials near the lymphnodes of the body, if it's the body temperature that you're worried about?
blademonkey, Feb 19 2003

       //How much water will you use?// Depends on the surface area of the sponge and the conditions of the environment around you. Definately less than the spray evaporative cooling method for reasons already mentioned.   

       //How do you prevent the sponge material from heating up? // If you make it of a similar color (or more importantly infrared absorptance) as the material you replace, then without water it will heat up just as much. Adding water in a dry environment will cool it. Imagine having a cotton shirt on and someone pouring water on your back. Even in a hot environment your shirt will feel much cooler where it's wet.   

       //Why not put these sponge-like materials near the lymphnodes of the body// I'm not sure why this would help. By cooling down any part of the body that has significant blood flow you will cooling down the entire body.
Worldgineer, Feb 20 2003

       So funny to see this Idea here. There is a much cheeper/simpler/lighter/effective way. I'm developing it (baking it) myself so I'm keeping details under wraps for a while. arak _ lea @ hotm... .com.   

       Actually, it will be a whole system for desert walking as a sport. I saw a documentary on a competition once about 3 people racing to cross the Austalian desert(N-S). One used survival training, one used high-tech, one used aboriginal methods.   

       Oddly, All three arrived together, although the high tech guy would have been first if he didn't have a 'spiritual' experience, then desided to wait a couple of hours for the others to show up. Pretty cool. I actually liked his decision. It showed character.   

       In anycase, I always wanted to upstage the high-tech guy technically. But my guess is, well bassically I really want the 'spiritual experience'!
arilea, Jun 07 2003

       Clever trick, that is. The old "I have a better solution, but I won't tell you what it is" trick. Just plain cruel. Does it involve custard? Either way, I hereby challenge you to a run through the desert.
Worldgineer, Jun 08 2003

       Don' know why but this reminds me of the "still suits" in the book series / movie / move series "Dune" It's a classic. In it, you were a suit that gathers up all of your sweat and urine, and pumps it through a filter using the energy when you walk. You then drink it through a tube. It also has a little thing that you hook up to your nose so that excesses moisture expelled through breathing out is also collected.   

       Maybe construct one of these but take a portion of the water that you would drink and hook it up to your evaporation unit. Would minimize water intake, and keep you cool. Ok, now I need to add this to my list of things to invent, after I get done with my argon death ray that is...
thelambs, Oct 18 2003

       Hi back to you, just a year latter.. will anyone notice?   

       About the suit, no easy commercial value, and I had to think some more on it too.   

       The thing is, sweat works great. You just need to save the cool air. So use light flexible (and expensive) solar cells and a small PC fan to blow air into a lightweight suit. Let the air out at an opposite end. That's all that is to it. I triied it in different ways in Phoenix and it's good, very good. Uses very little actual sweat. Saves water. Oh yes, get the flow right.
arilea, Feb 04 2004

       The "still suits" made me think of this in the first place as a method to save water. If you stay cool you sweat less. Infact your skin only sweats enough to stay cool and you don't get wet even ridding a bike, if the flow is right.. Anyone have a competing challenge to it?
arilea, Feb 04 2004

       I like your idea. It uses evaporative cooling, and the human body as the water source. My idea avoids sweating in the first place and may be more comfortable for that reason, but I see the usefulness of both methods.
Worldgineer, Feb 04 2004

       Good Idea in fact the inventor of the pith helmet had the same idea.
duroncrush, Feb 04 2004

       Yes I saw the patent to it I think. It blew the air into the face I believe, which is bad for the eyes because of particles and loses the cooled air straight away, so don't think they understood the concept.   

       Lose fitting middle eastern clothing does use the concept, it insulates from the outside, but enough air flow occures to evaoprate inside, yet the cool air is retained for a while.
arilea, Feb 04 2004

       You should post your idea as an idea. It sounds like a good one.
Worldgineer, Feb 06 2004

       Time for an update. I've developed a hat version of the idea. I'll do a full suit if this goes anywhere. I guess this has become a full baked idea (and burnt?)   

       I made/sent in a patent application, just for the heck of it. Also I made 5 hat prototypes that seem to work in the winter here (warm dry days from 70 to 80 degrees) and now I'm ready to do some customer perception testing this summer in real heat.   

       I should say, I'ld did a little market research while I was building my hardhat contraptions. (outdoor workers are the target solution). Everywhere I went, if a saw a blue collar type, I ask em' "do you work out doors", and if yes then "if you could buy something for $35 to $75 that keeps you cool, was very light weight, but only works in direct sun, would you buy it?" 70% of the time they say yes, 30% Yes-Maybe. Never had a flat no.   

       To understand this, ya gotta know that the heat down here, while very dry, goes from nasty to intollerable to insane, and they HAVE TO work everyday. If it works well (by thier own perception), believe me, they're interested.   

       I'll be showing it to local people. If they feel it works well enough in the heat of April, I may contact and licence a city or county here in Arizona so they can make thier own for free.   

       If I had to make them by hand they'd cost $150 each at my wadges(web developer). If I locate an investor to put 10k into it(well hey! I like dreaming), I'll get a mould made then finance a safety certification.   

       If these things were to happen, then the hats could sell at $25 to $50 a crack. Add a little power pack for running in the shade, and HEY I'm famous!   

       I also made a softcap version, but I feel it is not marketable, unless I could get a baseball leage interested in the novelty factor.   

       So where would I place photo's for you all to see?(if anyone cares) I don't have my own domain host yet. Though I do own a domain name I could assign to one.
arilea, Mar 28 2004

       [arilea] (if you're still around), sorry I never responded - I must have missed your comment. E-mail the picture to me and I'll put it on my website.
Worldgineer, Jun 26 2004

       Well it looks like there is interest, but only if there were an OCIA cert for it. I may yet find someone to test it for roofing or some other outdoor sector.   

       I talked to a large contractor and found out something interesting. He said that labor worker in 100 degree's F or more, loose 30% or more of thier productivity. I was thinking of this as saftey thing against global warming, but maybe it's a possible cost saving thing too? Anyway the full suit maybe more interesting to the contractor than I thought. A full suit however would require a power pack recharger, ther aint enough solar profile to support two PC fans going at full tilt. I think 2 fans is what a full suit would require.   

       Yes I do have a photo!   

       PS, Thanks for this web site! it's a beautiful place!
arilea, Jul 24 2004

       Very nice, [clif], but a bit different.
Worldgineer, Jul 25 2004


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