Title:
PERSONAL COOLING SYSTEMS AND RELATED METHODS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Personal cooling systems and related methods are disclosed. According to an aspect, a personal cooling system comprises a fluid cooling chamber defining an interior for containing cooling fluid. The system also comprises a pump including an output nozzle. The pump is adapted to displace the cooling fluid from the interior of the fluid cooling chamber through the output nozzle. Further, the system includes a fluid delivery and return structure including a heat transfer chamber adapted to be positioned in headgear such that the heat transfer chamber is positioned near one of a head and a neck of a person when the headgear is worn by the person. The structure includes pathways for delivering the cooling fluid to the heat transfer chamber such that heat from the head and neck of the person is transferred to the cooling fluid within the heat transfer chamber.



Inventors:
Collins, Paul Brannon (Cary, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/535129
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
08/04/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/171.2, 165/104.31
International Classes:
F24H9/06; A42B3/04; F28D15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
THOMPSON, JASON N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIVE LAW GROUP, PLLC (CARY, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A personal cooling system comprising: a fluid cooling chamber defining an interior for containing cooling fluid; a pump including an output nozzle, the pump being adapted to displace the cooling fluid from the interior of the fluid cooling chamber through the output nozzle; and a fluid delivery and return structure including a heat transfer chamber adapted to be positioned in headgear such that the heat transfer chamber is positioned near one of a head and a neck of a person when the headgear is worn by the person, the structure including a first fluid pathway adapted to deliver the cooling fluid from the output nozzle of the pump to the heat transfer chamber such that heat from the one of the head and the neck of the person is transferred to the cooling fluid within the heat transfer chamber, and wherein the structure includes a second fluid pathway to deliver the cooling fluid from the heat transfer chamber to the fluid cooling chamber.

2. The personal cooling system of claim 1 wherein the fluid cooling chamber comprises a sealed tank adapted to contain a volume of water and ice.

3. The personal cooling system of claim 1 wherein the pump is positioned within the interior of the cooling chamber.

4. The personal cooling system of claim 1 wherein the pump is powered by one of a 12 Volt DC power supply, a solar-based power supply, and a battery.

5. The personal cooling system of claim 1 wherein the fluid delivery and return structure comprises a flexible tube.

6. The personal cooling system of claim 5 wherein the flexible tube comprises first and second ends, the first end of the flexible tube being coupled to the output nozzle of the pump for receiving the cooling fluid displaced by the pump, and the second end of the flexible tube being positioned within the interior of the fluid cooling chamber for returning cooling fluid into the interior of the fluid cooling chamber.

7. The personal cooling system of claim 5 wherein the flexible tube comprises a head heat transfer portion and a neck heat transfer portion, the head heat transfer portion being positioned in the headgear near placement of the head of the person when the headgear is worn by the person, and the neck heat transfer portion being positioned on the headgear near placement of the neck of the person when the headgear is worn by the person.

8. The personal cooling system of claim 1 wherein the cooling fluid is water.

9. The personal cooling system of claim 1 comprising an attachment mechanism configured for attaching the fluid cooling chamber to a vehicle.

10. A method of cooling a person, the method including: providing a cooling system comprising: a fluid cooling chamber defining an interior for containing cooling fluid; and at least one tube including first and second ends, the first end being fluidly coupled to the cooling fluid, and the second end being positioned for delivering cooling fluid to the interior, and a portion of the at least one tube being connected to headgear and being positioned near one of a head and a neck of a person when the headgear is worn by the person; and pumping the cooling fluid from the interior of the fluid cooling chamber into an interior of the first end of the at least one tube such that the cooling fluid passes through the portion of the at least one tube where heat at the one of the head and neck is transferred to the cooling fluid, and such that the heated cooling fluid returns to the interior of the chamber.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the fluid cooling chamber comprises a sealed tank adapted to contain a volume of water and ice.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the pump is positioned within the interior of the cooling chamber.

13. The method of claim 10 comprising powering the pump by one of a 12 Volt DC power supply, a solar-based power supply, and a battery.

14. The method of claim 10 wherein the at least one tube is a flexible, plastic tube.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the plastic tube comprises first and second ends, the first end of the plastic tube being coupled to the output nozzle of the pump for receiving the cooling fluid displaced by the pump, and the second end of the plastic tube being positioned within the interior of the fluid cooling chamber for returning cooling fluid into the interior of the fluid cooling chamber.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein the plastic tube comprises a head heat transfer portion and a neck heat transfer portion, the head heat transfer portion being positioned in the headgear near placement of the head of the person when the headgear is worn by the person, and the neck heat transfer portion being positioned on the headgear near placement of the neck of the person when the headgear is worn by the person.

17. The method of claim 10 wherein the cooling fluid is water.

18. The method of claim 10 comprising providing an attachment mechanism configured for attaching the fluid cooling chamber to a vehicle.

19. A personal cooling system comprising: a fluid cooling chamber defining an interior for containing cooling fluid; a pump including an output nozzle, the pump being adapted to displace the cooling fluid from the interior of the fluid cooling chamber through the output nozzle; and a flexible tube comprising first and second ends, the first end of the flexible tube being coupled to the output nozzle of the pump for receiving the cooling fluid displaced by the pump, and the second end of the flexible tube being positioned within the interior of the fluid cooling chamber for returning cooling fluid into the interior of the fluid cooling chamber, wherein the flexible tube comprises a head heat transfer portion and a neck heat transfer portion, the head heat transfer portion being positioned in the headgear near placement of the head of the person when the headgear is worn by the person, and the neck heat transfer portion being positioned on the headgear near placement of the neck of the person when the headgear is worn by the person.

20. The personal cooling system of claim 19 wherein the pump is positioned within the interior of the cooling chamber.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application No. 61/086,299, filed Aug. 5, 2008, the content of which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The subject matter disclosed herein relates to cooling systems. In particular, the subject matter disclosed herein relates to personal cooling systems and related methods.

BACKGROUND

In many situations, humans are exposed to conditions of extreme heat and thus in potential danger of heat-related injury. Such situations include, for example, motorcycle riding and other outdoor activities. In these situations, it is desirable for a person to efficiently, conveniently, and effectively cool himself or herself. Accordingly, it is desirable to provide such cooling systems and related methods.

SUMMARY

It is an object of the presently disclosed subject matter to provide personal cooling systems and related methods.

An object of the presently disclosed subject matter having been stated hereinabove, and which is achieved in whole or in part by the presently disclosed subject matter, other objects will become evident as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings as best described hereinbelow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter described herein will now be explained with reference to the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cooling tube of a personal cooling system in use by a person wearing a helmet in accordance with an embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a cooling tube of the personal cooling system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of a cooling chamber, pump, and portions of a cooling tube of the personal cooling system shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a top cross-sectional view of the cooling chamber, pump, and portions of the cooling tube of the personal cooling system shown in FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view of a cooling chamber, pump, and portions of a cooling tube of a personal cooling system in accordance with an embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein;

FIG. 6 is a top cross-sectional view of the cooling chamber, pump, and portions of the cooling tube of the personal cooling system shown in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a motorcycle, its rider, and a bag containing a fluid cooling chamber of the personal cooling system attached thereto according to an embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Personal cooling systems and related methods are disclosed herein. According to one aspect of the subject matter disclosed herein, a personal cooling system can include a fluid cooling chamber defining an interior for containing cooling fluid. The cooling system can also include a pump including an output nozzle, the pump being adapted to displace the cooling fluid from the interior of the fluid cooling chamber through the output nozzle. Further, the cooling system can include a fluid delivery and return structure including a heat transfer chamber adapted to be positioned in headgear such that the heat transfer chamber is positioned near one of a head and a neck of a person when the headgear is worn by the person. The fluid delivery and return structure can include a first fluid pathway adapted to deliver the cooling fluid from the output nozzle of the pump to the heat transfer chamber such that heat from the one of the head and the neck of the person is transferred to the cooling fluid within the heat transfer chamber. Further, the fluid delivery and return structure can include a second fluid pathway to deliver the cooling fluid from the heat transfer chamber to the fluid cooling chamber. This system can effectuate the cooling of a person in an overheated condition or maintain the temperature of the person at a comfortable level.

FIGS. 1-4 are different views of a personal cooling system in accordance with an embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein. Particularly, FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a cooling tube of a personal cooling system in use by a person wearing a helmet. FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a cooling tube of the personal cooling system. FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of a cooling chamber, pump, and portions of a cooling tube of the personal cooling system. FIG. 4 is a top cross-sectional view of the cooling chamber, pump, and portions of the fluid cooling tube of the personal cooling system. The personal cooling system is designed to reduce the temperature of the user's head and neck in order to allow a safer temperature that avoids heat-related injury. This is accomplished through reducing the heat level at the crown of the head and the arteries in the neck.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, the personal cooling system can include a fluid cooling chamber 100 and a submersible water pump 102 configured to deliver cooling fluid, such as water, near the head and neck of a person. In an example, the cooling chamber 100 is a sealed tank containing a volume of water and ice. The cooling chamber 100 can define a sealed interior for containing the submersible water pump 102. The pump 102 includes an output nozzle connected to one end 103 of a supply line (or more generally a fluid delivery and return structure) 104 for pumping chilled or cool water 106 out of the tank through the line that makes its way around one side of the user's neck 108, up to the crown 110 of the head, back down to the opposite side of the neck and back to the tank. The water is returned to the interior of cooling chamber 100 via an end 111 of the supply line 104, which opposes the end 103. The returned water, warmed by heat transfer from the wearer to the water, can then be cooled within the cooling chamber's interior.

A cap and rubber gasket 112 can cover and seal an opening at the top of the cooling chamber 100 for preventing leaking. The cap and gasket 112 can be removed from the opening. The interior of the cooling chamber 100 can be accessed via the opening for replacing the cooling fluid, adding ice, or maintaining the pump or supply line.

The cooling chamber 100 is insulated and designed to be housed in a bag of any sort (e.g., a tank bag, a saddle bag, a book bag, and the like). A portion of supply line 104 can be stitched into a head cover (or headgear) to keep it in place and convenient for use. For motorcycle riders, this can be a skull cap or the like. For landscaping applications or heavy equipment operators, this can be a ball cap or other such head cover or headgear.

The supply line can include one or more heat transfer chambers positioned near the head and/or neck of the wearer for delivering the cooling fluid from the output nozzle of the pump to the heat transfer chamber such that heat from the head and/or neck can be transferred to the cooling fluid. For example, a portion 114 of the supply line can be positioned against or near a wearer's neck for transferring heat from the neck to the water in the supply line. Portions 114 of the supply can be stitched to a helmet 116 to maintain the portion in position near neck 108. Portions 118 of the supply line can be positioned against or near the top of a wearer's head for transferring heat from the head to the water in the supply line. For applications without a helmet or chin strap, the cooling lines can include a snap mechanism to connect the cooling lines and keep the neck wrapped. For helmets or other applications with a chin strap, the cooling tubes can be tucked under the chin strap.

The supply lines can be connected to the cooling chamber and the headgear with connectors, such as flexible, plastic connectors. The headgear including the supply lines can be disconnected from the cooling chamber as needed.

The system can be “charged” by filling cooling chamber 100 with a low level of water and then completely with ice. As the system is used and the ice melts, reducing the effectiveness of the system, the design is such that re-filling the chamber with ice will recharge the system and bring it back into a functional state instantly or soon. Excess water can be poured off at the time of recharging.

The water pump 102 can be a 12 Volt DC pump that can be supplied with power from any number of suitable sources depending on the application. For example, motorcycles and heavy equipment have 12 V DC leads available for this function. Landscaping equipment may require the use of different size pumps depending on the voltage and power supply available. Accommodating this will be accomplished by switching the pump and connection for the power supply depending on the client demand.

The water pump may be powered by any suitable power supply. For example, a solar-based power supply may be used as a source of power. In another example, a suitable battery may be used as a source of power.

A switch may be utilized to turn on and off the system. For example, the power to the pump may be turned off for turning off the system.

In one embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein, the system may be used by more than one person. This can involve the splitting of water supply and return lines to accommodate multiple users.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are side and top cross-sectional views, respectively, of a personal cooling system in accordance with another embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein. Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the reference numerals correspond to the same reference numerals shown in FIGS. 1-4 and described above with respect to FIGS. 1-4.

According to an embodiment, one or more components of the personal cooling systems disclosed herein can be attached or secured to a vehicle. The fluid cooling chamber, pump, and/or power supply may be attached to a vehicle, such as, for example, a motorcycle, lawn mower, golf cart, or the like. For example, FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a motorcycle 700, its rider 702, and a bag 704 containing a fluid cooling chamber of the personal cooling system attached thereto according to an embodiment of the subject matter disclosed herein. Alternative to a bag, any suitable attachment mechanism may be used for attached or securing one or more components of the personal cooling system to a vehicle.

It will be understood that various details of the presently disclosed subject matter may be changed without departing from the scope of the presently disclosed subject matter. Furthermore, the foregoing description is for the purpose of illustration only, and not for the purpose of limitation.