Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DIY Cooling Suit (Step 1)

Most of the South East is too hot and muggy to support human life during the summer, mosquitoes on the other hand do just fine. The bottom line is that we have little chance of surviving the 24 Hours of Lemons in Kershaw SC in late July without some kind of clever technological solution.

It would be great to buy one of the purpose built cooling suits the pros wear. But in the spirit of Lemons (and being broke anyway) we decided to build our own.

Here's the ingredient list that you'll need if you want to build your own:
  1. Atwood V500 Bilge Pump ($15)
  2. Radio Shack 12v power supply (w/ switch) ($7.99)
  3. Target 18 liter cooler ($19)
  4. 10' Silicone 1"OD hose ($7)
  5. 20' Silicone 3/8" OD hose ($7)
  6. Watts Quick Connect Straight Valve ($7)
  7. 2 Brass Nipples ($10) (to transition b/t the two hoses)
The picture below shows the basic design. Obviously the pump will be set in the base of the cooler. The driver will have the choice to either turning off the system at the power source or adjusting the flow using the straight valve.

I was concerned about the power of the pump. The pump will "push" water up to about 7'. If the flow returns down to the pump (i.e. a 7' vertical loop with the pump and exit at the base) the flow is adequately strong). Success!


Kendt said...

Hey - a Dorifto Dog here!

Looking good - what's your plan for the suit/shirt part of your setup?

Greg said...

Wait till you see the next step... quick disconnect allows for multiple "shirts" plus there's an extension for helmet cooling. I may continue to wear it after the race! : )

Kendt said...

Cool - literally!

I was really curious how you guys were planning to make the shirts themselves. We're debating different options.

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