StayCool PowerPoint Presentation

“Lightweight, long endurance body
cooling for Fire Fighters
(Grant Agreement no.262673)
The project goal is to create a body cooling system for
Which is lighter in weight and has greater
endurance than existing commercially available
systems, while offering a significant cooling power
and keeping a low price.
When called the firefighters they
can be exposed to high levels of
heat stress, which results in
decreased physical performance
and even a heart-related illness
The cooling system must meet the needs of the
firefighter, which are:
- Low mass (<4,5 Kg);
- Effective cooling ̴ 300 W to keep core
temperature rise to 1°C during a typical live fire
training exercise;
- Low bulk (<1 litre) and with good ergonomics (i.e.
does not prevent the user from completing
- Meets relevant standards, in particular EN 469;
- Affordable (<€500).
The existing Personal Cooling Systems (PCS) are
divided into three categories:
- Phase change systems;
- Air ventilated vests;
- Liquid circulating vests.
From the state of the art, there are a number of
limitations, high mass, low endurance or low cooling
power and for vapour compression units, very high
unit cost. There are technical obstacles that we need
to overcome to provide a light-weight, long
endurance, affordable, effective personal cooling
system for fire fighters (and other occupations) use.
No commercially available system meets the needs
of firefighters.
Our idea is to develop a personal cooling
system that by-pass the barrier to sweat
evaporation created by the personal protective
clothing and allow sweating from a biomimetic
surface outside of the clothing
The StayCool personal cooling system consists of three
Heat pipe garment to collect heat from the wearer
Evaporative Heat exchanger to pass heat to the
System controller to optimise heat flow and maximise
battery life
1. Selection of materials of wicking and evaporation from complex
surfaces, to understand the interaction between retention of
fluid by a wick and evaporation from that wick;
2. Develop and manufacture a flexible heat pipe garment,
laboratory prototype ;
3. Develop a novel light-weight heat exchanger to transfer heat
from the heat pipe garment to the environment and integrate it
with the heat pipe garment.
Wicking material can be used to absorb and transport
water, even against gravity, distributing the water over
its surface. The water is then held within the wicking
material, allowing evaporation and resulting in an
increased cooling effect.
This type of materials are based on open cell foam
systems, i.e. materials which have porosity throughout
the material, providing a path for fluid to travel through.
The size of the pores and the material are
responsible for the performance of the wicking
A selection of materials was sourced for each main
type of wicking material identified in order to downselect a representative variety of wicking materials for
the evaporative testing.
Heat pipes are heat transfer devices that are
characterized by a very high thermal conductivity
which means they can transport heat with lower
Heat pipes consist of a evaporator side where
working fluid evaporates. Vapour is driven to
condenser due to the pressure difference in between
these two regions. Condensate returns to evaporator
thanks to the action of capillarity in the wick material
which completely lines heat pipe inner surface.
The picture shows a sketch of the patch where the different
components have been remarked.
The heat pipe patch is constructed of three materials:
1. Metallised film that is heat sealed to form the
outer sealed envelope of the heat pipe patch.
2. A spacer material to maintain vapour flow channels
within the patch when under vacuum.
3. The wick material to allow even and fast distribution
of water within the heat pipe patch, facilitating the
water evaporation/condensation cycle, the mechanism
for heat extraction from the skin.
The functionality and optimisation of the heat pipe
patches is just one aspect of the design of the
StayCool cooling garment. The ergonomic design
of the system is equally important to ensure that
the final garment is comfortable and practical for use
by fire-fighters.
The picture shows the final stay cool system we aim at
This technology will provide the following benefits for
the firefighter:
• Better working conditions due to the low mass
• More efficient that other vests due to enhanced
cooling capacity
• Useful endurance
• Comfort
Gather performance and ergonomic data on the
laboratory prototype garment evidenced in a controlled
laboratory trial to inform the development of the
laboratory prototype into a pre-production prototype
that can be manufactured within the price that the end
user can afford.
Demonstrate (field trial) the effectiveness of the
personal cooling system to end users
Beneficiaries of the project and their
NWT’s primary contract is with Northwest Regional
Development Agency (NWDA) to act as a cluster support
organization supporting the technical textile cluster in the
northwest of the UK. As lead SME partner, NWT will
primarily be responsible for IP protection, dissemination
and co-ordination of the project. One of NWT’s key roles
is to disseminate best practice and keep the cluster
companies informed of technical developments
relevant to the sector.
MAKATEC is a innovative SME developing new
technologies for heat and mass transfer. As the first
company worldwide Makatec are using the benefits of
membrane technology for use in refrigeration.
EAG has been trading for 9 years supplying the
emergency services with PPE from head to toe. They
manufacture and distribute PPE products to all areas of
the UK and Ireland.
EVA has its own production facilities and enjoys a
stable position within the local and international
market, producing and supplying clothes for large
QinetiQ is one of Europe’s largest independent science
and technology organizations. Based on its extensive
experience in the development and testing of Body
cooling technologies QinetiQ is well placed to
technically lead the research and development aspects
of this programme.
ITAV is the main Research branch in South Europe. ITAV will
be in charge of developing the heat exchange unit from the
conceptual idea to the prototype, designing the most thermalefficient structure, materials and design. It will also provide a 3D
model of the vest for the optimization of the evaporation phase
and its evacuation to the heat pipe cold end. Finally ITAV will
participate on the development of materials-based components of
the control system, electrochromic battery charge reader and the
conducting polymer-based temperature reader.
Cotton Textile and Clothing Centre – Centrocot is a Technology
Transfer Centre, located in one of the most important textile
industrial areas of Italy. CENT can provide all kind of tests
needed by the textile and clothing companies: Technological,
Chemical and Ecological; Certification and PPE, Electromagnetic
Measurement; Biological, UV Protection and Comfort;
Instruments Calibration. CENT will correlate the results of the
research (e.g. skin model to evaluate the ability of transpiration of
textile materials) with the construction parameters of textile
materials. And also in this project CENT will advise on the
requirements of the PPE and provide risk analysis and plans for
testing in order to get the CE mark required for the PPE.
Roberto Vannucci
Centro Tessile Cotoniero e
Abbigliamento Spa
Piazza Sant’Anna, 2
21052 Busto Arsizio (VA)
Tel. +39 0331 696711 - Direct +39 0331
696778 - Fax 0331 680056
e-mail: [email protected]

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