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Compact Active Body Cooling System Answered

So I'm going to be making a full-body space armour type costume (Samus from Metroid Prime) eventually and I want to try to design an active cooling system that isn't too heavy, can be concealed within the costume, doesn't require too much replacing of coolant , and doesn't use obscene amounts of energy. I know the way it's done in commercial active cooling vests is that they run ice water through plastic tubes in a vest. The problem with this is that there is a big, huge tank of water with a big pump that the vest is tethered to and it needs to be plugged into an outlet. The way I'm thinking of doing it is by putting a network of copper wires in the garment I'll be wearing under the armour that lead to a cooling system in the back of the suit that, right now, I'm thinking will involve ice packs and/or a fan array. I feel like it might not work, so the alternative is to design a custom water or liquid cooling system. I'm planning on using lithium ion batteries for the cooling system and lights if I can. Any ideas or suggestions?

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jstarvele (author)2010-09-27

The cooling suit prospectis is 3-4 pages and will not fit in these window. it is in MS word

Even though I was notifiec of your answwer in my e mail there is nothing in my inbox on the web site. I still have no way to contact you to send it! The web site leaves much to be desired.

The one way valves look like they will be cheap, I have found a source. I haven't found anything being made to adapt to a boot pump so I may have to make it.

There is ice cooling suit for believe it not for Smokey the Bear custome. The electrical power laster longer than the ice water. 2 liter system. one hour duration. The heat sink needs to biger to make it last longer.

Most suit make the mistake of trying to cool the body and not areas of arms and legs where the blood vessel are close to the surface. The stomach and chest has most fat insulation than other parts of the body. I left my e-mail on the last post wite direct if you are confortable with it,

John

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jstarvele (author)2010-09-25

I just came across your suit and a desire for a cooling system. Just this morning I wrote a prospective on a body suit cooling system and am looking for help building the system.

Energy consumption is a problem if you use an electric pump. My design uses a technology explored in Frank Herbert's Dune: boot sole circulating pumps. (in the public domain so we are free to us it.) Specificly a heel and foot ball pumps the act of walking will circulate the cooling fluid while cushing you walk.

I also include a 12V electric pump that can be used during periods of inactivities.

The pumps can be install in other locations of the body where there is normal body movement.

I have experience with fiberglass and carbon fiber fabrication if I can be other help. Doubt there is much that is pattenable in my suit so I more than willing to let read the prosectives in total and hope we can build a superior suit

Jstarvele@cox.net

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Icetigris (author)jstarvele2010-09-26

A boot pump is something I have thought of using (I didn't know it was in Dune, that's pretty cool). I don't know how much help I can be (I don't have a lot of free time right now due to grad school), but if you want to discuss designs and fabrication strategies, I'm definitely up for that.

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NachoMahma (author)2008-05-27

> isn't too heavy, can be concealed within the costume, doesn't require too much replacing of coolant , and doesn't use obscene amounts of energy. . Maybe the first three, but you really don't have much control over the last. It's going to take a considerable amount of power to remove body heat, no matter what you do.

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Icetigris (author)NachoMahma2008-05-27

True, though I probably wouldn't need to have it on the entire time I'm wearing the costume. I could just switch it on when I need more cooling and maybe if the copper wires thing makes any sense, I could use just ice packs.

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DHeigh (author)Icetigris2010-08-19

Sys OP: Am I allowed to post this here? It a company's web site advertising professional cool suits: http://www.coolshirt.net/racing-all.html Check it out Icetigris.

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wedgekahr (author)Icetigris2010-07-13

Try using gravity to do your work for you: build platform boots (you'll look more intimidating taller anyway) and hide a small pump there. By the time the cool water passes through a torso maze of hose, it will be warmed enough to warrant recycling. Since heat rises anyway, the pump should be able to assist the natural flow of things and shoot the warmer water straight up to the shoulder tank. I know from personal experience that a tank made from PVC is very easy to construct (as long as you grew up with Legos lol) and rubber hose isn't too expensive. You're probably looking at less than $30 plus whatever pump you get. Let me know how it works out, I'm building a similar coolant system for a werewolf costume :D

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DHeigh (author)2010-08-05

I've looked into this idea, and Peltier coolers for travel coolers can be found at some surplus dealers on line(or even locally).  My research showed they used a great deal of power to run, which translates into battery weight if you use batteries.  Look into gel-cells to see what you could comfortable carry in a backpack or on your belt, then divide the watts use by the Peltier coolers you find for sale to see *approximately* how long the battery will last.

I think using a small water-tight tupperwear bottle, "rubber" tubes from aquarium supplies - or CPU coolers - and a liquid CPU cooler pump from computer suppliers would work best.  You could use ice or "dry-ice" to keep the water cool when you use it.  Just cycle it thru.

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Icetigris (author)2008-05-29

Okay, I've done a little more research and I've decided that Peltier cooling devices are awesome and that liquid cooling probably makes more sense than the copper wires thing I was thinking of. I'm also going to put a bunch of fans in the helmet and some well-concealed intake vents so I can breathe and have a breeze in the helmet. That said, I've tried to find a small, battery operated pump. I've found really small, really cheap aquarium air pumps, but not so much with water pumps. I also found aquarium chillers/pumps which, if I could find small, battery operated ones, would be great. Then I wouldn't actually have to build much other than the costume itself (which is already a huge undertaking). Probably what will end up happening is I'll have at least 1, maybe a few Peltier coolers under some heatsinks with fans in the back of the suit. The cold side of the Peltier coolers will interface with water tubes and the highest density of tubing will be around areas where major arteries and veins are close to the surface, like my neck, and places that aren't going to get any airflow because they'll be under plastic, like my entire upper body and some of my lower back. Anyway...I need to find some very small, battery-operated water pumps. I can't make the water reservoir very big so the pump has to be tiny. As always, input is greatly appreciated.

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SpeedEvil (author)Icetigris2008-06-10

Unfortunately, peltiers suck. They pump at best around the same heat as they consume - so a 60W peltier will pump 60W of heat, and add 60W of heat - for a total of 120W thermal output. This in your case isn't a real problem - as you don't care overly about the exhaust temperature. However. Ice is unfortunately probably the better way to go. Ice in melting absorbs 335KJ/Kg. In heating from -20C(fresh out of freezer) to 0C it absorbs about 60KJ, and in heating from 0 to 10C, about 40KJ. This means that from 1Kg of water, you get 435KJ or so of cooling. This is 120Wh, or around a 20 cell lithium pack. If you are a normal human, you'll be producing around 100W of heat at rest, and 3-400W while walking around carrying a heavy suit, so one 'unit' (1L of ice, or 20 cells) will keep you cool for maybe a half an hour or so. Also consider if comfort is very important. Consider that on your front and back you have about .5 square meters. If you simply put on several t-shirts, and then a shirt with pockets all over it filled with baggies of ice-water, then you've pretty much solved it. You will want to try it a couple of times to find the right number of shirts to put under it so you don't get too cold.

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tech-king (author)2008-05-27

instead of using ice water, you could use a thermoelectric cooler (peltier) to cool either the wires or a smaller amount of coolant without ice.

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Icetigris (author)tech-king2008-05-28

I looked up some Peltier coolers and it certainly looks like a good possibility. The size is great and, in some cases, the power consumption is pretty good too. The only thing is I'm not sure what my heat load (Q, in watts) will be. From what I can tell, it's going to get up to around 120°F (49°C) in the suit (based on googling for temperatures in other people's costumes) and I'd like it to be cooled to room temperature, if possible. I'm not sure if the in-suit temperature is accurate. I've done a cursory review of thermodynamics through the google, but I'm not sure how to calculate what heat load I'll want the cooling device to take away. Do you know where I should look for this information or how to calculate this?

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CameronSS (author)Icetigris2008-05-28

Also, you will be generating heat if you plan to do any running, jumping, shooting, or other Samus-type activities.

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NachoMahma (author)Icetigris2008-05-28

. 120oF sounds a little high to me, but it wouldn't surprise me, especially if you will be in the sun or stage lights.
. Not sure about the load. Not even sure what term(s) to search for. :(
. I think getting down to room temp is a little ambitious, especially if you want to keep power usage reasonable. A deltaT of 20-25oF will greatly increase comfort.
. IIRC, if the head is cool, the rest of the body thinks it's cool - maybe concentrate your effort on the head.
. Increasing ventilation inside the suit will promote evaporative cooling of your sweat.

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That and your head is the place with the highest heat loss, so it's a good place to start...

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