Individual Cooling Equipment
Agency / Branch:
DOD / SOCOM
Military ground mobility vehicles often operate in areas of high heat with no environmental conditioning systems for cooling the individual soldier or critical vehicle electronic systems. Typical vehicle climate control systems are large refrigerant-based systems that are not man portable. SOCOM has expressed a desire for cooling equipment that is man portable for short periods (~ 3 hours). This cooling equipment would be also usable for cooling 2-4 tactical radios mounted in a rack. Recent developments in fuel cell technology, coupled with the innovative use of lightweight heat exchange technology now make the prospect of man portable personnel cooling viable. We anticipate that the optimal solution to SOCOM's requirements will entail two systems, one hard mounted to the vehicle, the other man portable. The man portable system would be able to be recharged from the vehicle mounted system. The most effective individual cooling systems that are currently on the market involve a shirt or vest with large hose elements attached, as shown in the accompanying photo. These garments are them plugged into a large base unit, which circulates cold fluid through the tubes. Without the base units, the garments are simply dead weight. CTI's proposed solution to the portable man-cooling task builds on technology developed by Cesaroni Technology Inc. that includes a Peltier cooler (shown at right) embedded in a lightweight polymeric heat exchanger. The CTI system, when adapted to a man cooling design would entail fine polymeric tubing coupled to a Peltier device. Either a lithium polymer battery or a small fuel cell would power the system while the soldier is dismounted from the vehicle. The system could be charged from the vehicle while the soldier is in the vehicle. The hard mounted system would also use Peltier devices for the cooling of rack-mounted radios. The system could be charged from the vehicle while the soldier is in the vehicle. The CTI system would not require the use of refrigerants. Another advantage to the Peltier-based system is that simply reversing the electrical connections to the device changes the system from a cooler to a heater. This could be useful in operations that occur at night or in areas of extreme temperature fluctuation. System power for the portable system would come from either high energy density lithium-polymer batteries or small fuel cells. Both options show promise in the dimensions, weights and capacities required. Fuel cells are currently being developed for small portable applications, including laptop computers. Cells of this magnitude are believed to be applicable to the personnel cooling system. Similarly, lithium-polymer batteries have the benefits that they are light weight and possess excellent energy densities. They can also be readily made in a variety of shapes, thus facilitating integration into a man-portable system. Cesaroni Technology Inc. proposes to design, develop, fabricate and test a functioning prototype during Phase I of this program.
Small Business Information at Submission:
CESARONI TECHNOLOGY, INC.
1144 Tallevast Road, Suite 108 Sarasota, FL 34243
Number of Employees: