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Helmet Cooling Technology just around the corner...


Mike O

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I was at a local tech gathering where local entrepreneurs can network and exchange product ideas etc. I arrived on my bike, spent some time chatting with folks. There is some interesting technology on the horizon. (One example is a company that makes devices containing no semiconductor materials, yet offer 100% CMOS compatibility. They invented nano-scale stacks of metals and insulators - Pretty cool stuff).

 

But, here's the cool stuff that caught my eye. As I was gearing back up, an entrepreneur approached me and commented how great my bike looked. He noticed my mesh jacket and helmet and asked how cool the helmet was. Naturally I said, not very. He asks me who manufactures my helmet (it's a Scorpion). He then asks about power availability (and that's got my interest). After a few minutes I figured out why he was so interested in the helmet.

 

His company Its Kool, has invented what he refers to as a 'Personal Cooling Device' PCD.

Each PCD consists of a number of thermoelectric cooling modules, electronic controls, rechargeable batteries and a casing which altogether may be no larger or heavier than a wrist watch.
From his web site:

 

device.jpg

 

His product is currently integrated into bicycle helmets (this pic from his web site is a prototype).

0032.jpg

 

Now the interesting part. His interest in my helmet leads to further comments and then he divulges (FWIW) that he's in talks with AGV to integrate 'PCD' into their helmets. Hence his questions about motorcycle helmets (and power).

 

What a cool idea (pun intended). I love these events. The solutions and technology (and their applications) reinforce my appreciation for inventions and ingenuity.

 

Thought you'd find this interesting...

 

Mike O

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Well, I certainly have no allegiance to any helmet manufacturer that couldn't be broken by a cooling system like that in an AGV helmet.

 

Thanks for the info.

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Dave McReynolds

Now pack another twenty of those bad boys into a matching jacket and you're talking...

 

It has occured to me on recent warm rides, and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking this, that with all the high tech gadgets available on and for motorcycles and riders these days, it seems incredible that we have to wear a vest soaked in water to cool off!

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...it seems incredible that we have to wear a vest soaked in water to cool off!
Dave,

 

I couldn't have said it better.

 

ABS,

GPS,

ESA

 

and a host of other three letter acronyms and not much in advancement of rider comfort when it comes to cooling. I did ask the entrepreneur how the technology scales; i.e. could you make a vest out of the technology. He didn't think it was practical (at the moment). But I'll settle for a cooler noggin for a start.

 

Mike O

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Now pack another twenty of those bad boys into a matching jacket and you're talking...

 

It has occured to me on recent warm rides, and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking this, that with all the high tech gadgets available on and for motorcycles and riders these days, it seems incredible that we have to wear a vest soaked in water to cool off!

 

Yup, seems to me someone should have come up with something that blows cool air through your jacket.

 

I guess nobody's figured out how to miniturize a condenser yet.

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... around the corner? If I'm not mistaken that sites been up for a few years, as a "concept" site. I'd be interested to see what they come up with, and how they exhaust the heat byproduct of the thermoelectric coolers.

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Well, the technology is there. I mean, how tough would it be to slap a compressor on to a bike and then circulate cool water through a jacket? Yeah, it's going to add to the weight of the bike, but for a rig like a GoldWing or LT, I can't imagine it being that big of an issue. Sure would make those 100°+ days a lot more fun.

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Honda supposedly had it for the GL1800 (was slated to be released when it was introduced) but they had some issues under very extreme conditions of high heat and low MPH (parade/rush hour traffic)....I hear it will be available on the GL2000 when it is released.....Supposed to plug into the riders coat (like a dry suit I supposed). I have yet to see a picture....

 

Would be nice on those hot days.....wonder how much it will weigh...

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I recall seeing a helmet being promoted about 20 years ago that used the Peltier effect for cooling. It had radiator fins like a racing stripe across the top of the helmet.

 

So, nothing new here. What would be new would be an effective, practical and commercially successful active helmet cooling system.

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It has occured to me on recent warm rides, and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking this, that with all the high tech gadgets available on and for motorcycles and riders these days, it seems incredible that we have to wear a vest soaked in water to cool off!

 

Maybe we could modify our 'Stich suits like this? The a/c unit could go in the saddlebag. lmao.gif

 

 

10073858.jpg

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The basic problem here is that thermoeletric (Peltier-effect) coolers are not "coolers". They are heat pumps.

 

This means that like any mechanical refrigerator, they pump heat from one place to another. But the place they pump heat TO, must ne able to dissipate the heat. These coolers do NOT simply "create coldness"; they pump heat away from one place (hence reducing its temperature) and pump it to another place that must be able to dissipate it (usually by means of a finned aluminum heat sink).

 

The inventor of this gizmo seems to believe that the coolers simply "get cold". If there is no means to dissipate the heat on the other side of the cooler (the side that the heat gets pumped to), the "cooler" will simply get hot.

 

This is no different than if you were to block the heat radiator on the back of a fridge (or disconnect the fan on a fridge that has its radiator underneath). The heat being pumped out of the fridge will not be able to dissipate, and the result will be that the fridge no longer will get cold.

 

A little understanding of the basic theory of thermoelectric (Peltier) coolers is glaringly absent in this gizmo!

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........The inventor of this gizmo seems to believe that the coolers simply "get cold". If there is no means to dissipate the heat ......, the "cooler" will simply get hot.

.......

A little understanding of the basic theory of thermoelectric (Peltier) coolers is glaringly absent in this gizmo!

 

Look at the image again & find....

FLEXIBLE METALLIC FACE (heat sink)

Also notice the surface area ratio between the cold/hot surfaces.

 

Note that the power source (battery) of this particular unit is quite small.

I would not expect too much performance from this unit but it's a start in the right direction.

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I saw the heat sink in the drawing... the question still remains how to draw the heat away from the sink. Unless the helmet is modified and some sort of fan installed to exhaust the heat, the heat would still stay in the helmet. It's got to go somewhere for cooling to occur. < s >

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I saw the heat sink in the drawing... the question still remains how to draw the heat away from the sink. ...

 

Natural convection & radiation. (Depending on the application/installation conduction too)

Were not talking about a lot of heat content (BTU's) in this particular unit.

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The basic problem here is that thermoeletric (Peltier-effect) coolers are not "coolers". They are heat pumps.
Right. Which is why that rig 20 years ago had fins in the airstream. They were pretty small, but they were there.
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Ah, but if natural convection and radiation away from the head was sufficient, we wouldn't need the heat pump.

 

Without this unit, the heat moves from the top of the head to the helmet liner. With this unit, the heat moves from the top of the head to the unit to the helmet liner. Where's the gain?

 

I'm not saying that it won't work... I'm just wondering where the heat would go that's different than where it's going now < s >

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Dave McReynolds

Granted it would be nice to have a high-tech airconditioning system, but it seems to me that there would be a market for something more basic too. It seems that the best I can do right now is to put out about $60-$70 for a vest that I soak in water that will keep me slightly cooler, though damp and clammy, for an hour or so. Wouldn't it be an improvement if I had some kind of container that would fit in a tank bag that held either ice or dry ice, with scoops in front to collect air passing by the motorcycle and hoses out the back connected to my jacket? It might not be the perfect solution, but at least it wouldn't be damp and clammy.

 

It just surprises me that I can search on the internet and find four or five different kinds of pucks for sale to place under my kickstand to solve the problem of keeping the bike up when parking on sand, when we all probably have junk in our garage or stuff available in nature that would work just as well, but not much on the subject of staying cool during summer rides.

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.... It seems that the best I can do right now is to put out about $60-$70 for a vest that I soak in water that will keep me slightly cooler, though damp and clammy, for an hour or so. Wouldn't it be an improvement if I had some kind of container that would fit in a tank bag that held either ice or dry ice,....

 

Looks like you could spend 7 to 10 times more for these products.

 

 

we all probably have junk in our garage or stuff available in nature that would work just as well

 

Iv'e taken your statement out of context but I feel it applies to a home made solution to these 12v ice water circulating vest contraptions smile.gif

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Dave McReynolds

Looks like you could spend 7 to 10 times more for these products.

 

Thanks for finding that! It's a little more complicated and expensive than I had in mind, but I'm glad someone's at least thinking about it. Maybe you're right. I'll just have to fool around in my garage and see what I can come up with on my own. That should be interesting. An air conditioner designed by a CPA. Probably just produce a lot of hot air. Maybe I ought to design a heater instead?

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Start by using WHITE, which reflects heat and light away much better than other colors. Why people use black motorcycle clothing in summer is beyond me. WHITE would keep a lot of the heat out in the first place, so you would not need to remove it.

 

Evaporative cooling is very efficient, and Nature's way after billions of years of R&D. No moving parts, and it can drop ambient temps by ~30 degrees. Core temperature can be maintained at comfortable level by staying hydrated, so a Camelback (or cheap knockoff) is useful, and you'd get some armour protection from it, too.

 

"Cool shirts" with circulation of cold water via plastic tubing are a cheap imitation of astronaut gear, but probably work as well. You could rig this up for a few dollars and an evening's work. In winter, hot water could be circulated, using the engine as a free heat source.

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