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Icy-Flo - The solution to this summer's heat 145

Posted by Hemos
from the keeping-it-cool-when-the-lights-are-up dept.
Steve Kerrison writes "Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I'd like to think of this as more of an exercise in cunning. It's hot, but I'm not, thanks to an Icy-Box and a Panaflo. This was nearly categorised as hardware hacking, but then the only 'hacking' required was the removal of four thumb-screws."
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Icy-Flo - The solution to this summer's heat

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  • Not very interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2@earthshod[ ].uk ['.co' in gap]> on Monday June 12, 2006 @07:51AM (#15516243)
    What would be better, would be to modify a mobile air conditioner so it actually worked!

    The problem with most mobile ACs is that there is only one vent pipe, which discharges the air that has been used to cool the condenser outside -- the condenser-cooling intake is in the room. So this means there is a continuous flow of air out of the room ..... and so, what with the pressure in a fluid acting equally in all directions, a continuous flow of air into the room. This is likely to be warmer than you want {if it wasn't a hot day, then you wouldn't have the AC on in the first place} and also, some of that air you just spent good money cooling is being heated up and blasted outside! Better would be to have a coaxial arrangement like a gas boiler flue, where the {hot} exhaust pipe is actually mounted inside the {cool} intake pipe. Then the arrangement would work more like a "fixed" air conditioner, since the condenser-cooling airstream would be entirely separate from the evaporator-heating {or, if you prefer, room-cooling} airstream.

    You probably could do all this with Peltier Effect devices {dry heat pumps}. In which case, you would need to attach two lumps of metal with large surface areas {heat sinks from your nearest electronic components store fit this description nicely .....}, one to each side of the device; separate them by means of the best thermal insulation you can get, and blow fans over each. Circulate air from the room over the cold side, and air from outdoors over the hot side. You will also need to shut off the current every so often, in order to allow the cold side to de-ice.
  • by tweakt (325224) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @07:53AM (#15516250) Homepage
    In the hopes of salvaging this discussion (TFA is a non-story)

    Has anyone tried one of these? The priciples behind it make sense:
    http://www.sharperimage.com/us/en/catalog/product/ sku__SI758SL2 [sharperimage.com]

    And since hearing about this development:
    http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2005/j ulaug/features/cool.html [stanfordalumni.org]

    It makes even more sense, though a neck-worn device is more practical for mobile usage.
  • by MrDoh1 (906953) on Monday June 12, 2006 @09:48AM (#15516826) Journal
    I have a "Personal Cooler" from Sharper Image, though it is about 5yrs old. Looking at the picture on their site it doesn't look like they've changed it much. (But I don't know that for a fact so this all refers to my little bit older one.)

    My review: Like most other things that Sharper Image sells, save your money!

    I've used it (or tried to) while walking, while mowing, while working in the yard and in a few other instances, some during leisure, some during manual labor.

    First, I'm not a very large guy. My neck is pretty small in diameter. The thing doesn't hold on tight enough for my neck and it ends up sliding around or facing completely backwards and falling off before I can grab it. This happens much more frequently as you get hot and sweat more. Forget wearing it to play sports.

    Here in SE Texas, I can't even tell I am wearing it. The metal plate that contacts my neck becomes just as hot as I am in a very short amount of time and you can't tell there is any kind of cooling effect from it at all, save for the first couple of minutes you put it on until the metal plate gets to your temperature. (And trust me, this doesn't take long!)

    If it's like it used to be, you put water into a hole in it and a sponge soaked the water up in an attempt to keep it from spilling. Well, just a little too much water and this little water retention system ends up cooling you off inadvertently because it spills all over you. (Hey, at least it has the potential to cool you off, at least a little, somehow.)

    At least on mine, the little fan that spins that is suppose to help provide the evaporative cooling is so weak that I can put my hands over the little vent and barely tell if there is any air moving at all, though its close enough to my ears that I can hear it unless I'm doing something that makes a lot of noise.

    I think it could be made to work, if they have not gotten the kinks out already. The fan needs to be larger and more powerful, there needs to be a real way to contain the water and there has to be some way it can stay on anyones neck, regardless of their size. The principles involved seem sound, it's the implementation that needs work.


    As for the other link (didn't read TFL, just looked at the pictures), I haven't seen one of those before, but based on previous experience with similar methods, I believe that it is also based on sound principles. As an ex-firefighter in hot Florida I can tell you when we needed to cool off fast the best thing to do was run cool/cold water over your wrists. This helped with evaporative cooling on the skin, and if you are skinny like me with large veins close to the surface, it also might cool the blood itself a little.

PLUG IT IN!!!

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