Vehicle: Car: Climate: Cooling
Passive Heatsink Car Body   (+2)  [vote for, against]
A passive system for cooling of cars

My car has no active AC currently (79 pinto - and don't make fun of my lack of sanity for driving a car KNOWN to explode at the drop of a hat...)

With that in mind, other than opening all the windows and setting heavy things on important papers, what about an additional passive cooling method?

I am thinking that perhaps making cars outer structure into a heat sink (similar to the ones used on modern computer CPUs) might draw heat from the inside of the car and transfer it to the outside.

The heat sinks would have to be sturdy (therefore thicker, losing some of the heat dissipating ability, but at 60mph there would be enormous airflow to remove the heat. Also, the sinks could be made to follow the lines of the car and not (to my knowledge) impede airflow a great deal.
-- photojunkie, Jul 15 2004

Heatsinks http://mitglied.lyc...theus/heatsinks.htm
for anyone that needs to know what a heatsink is and how it works [photojunkie, Oct 05 2004]

A heatsink is never going to get the temperature of the air in the car below that of the air outside; the best you can hope for is similar temperatures - which is something open windows achieve very quickly.

Open windows also assist the evaporative cooling of lifeforms on board.

As I understand the idea, you have an (interior air)-(metal heatsink)-(exterior air) arrangement. To quickly transfer heat between some metal and some air you need forced air movement. You have it outside with your 60mph wind, but I don't see any mention in your idea of the fans you'd need inside. Unless, of course, the heatsink(s) were to somehow be in direct contact with occupants of the car.

Come winter, a heatsink is going to do a nice job of keeping people cold.
-- benjamin, Jul 15 2004

I loved my '72 Pinto. It was the best first car anyone could have. I also liked the aftermarket A/C my father had installed. On humid days, I could fill the car with fog (strictly from the air conditioner).
-- phoenix, Jul 15 2004

I dunno, my first car was a pretty good one. I was the only one at my high school that drove a vehicle with a 6 volt electrical system and a starter pedal on the floor. It had a cowl vent, a side vent and 2 windows for passive cooling.
-- half, Jul 15 2004

It would also be hell to keep a car so equipped clean.
-- krelnik, Jul 15 2004

Hmm... didn't think about the interior air flow... Yeah, I can see why that would be a major defeating issue.
-- photojunkie, Jul 15 2004

The conduction of the heat from the interior of the car to the exterior just through the metal should account for *something,* as those metal bits do get quite hot, probably hotter than the air surrounding them. No forced-air necessary.

The exterior of the car is going to experience some pretty severe sunload as all body panels do; the heatsink will be far from optimal; I'm not certain whether the heatsink will remove more heat than the increased exertion it would take to propell it through the air.
-- RayfordSteele, Jul 15 2004

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