Topic: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Ok, here's my thoughts.   Adding ice & draining water is time consuming, messy, and the ice has a limited lifespan at a hot race.

I was thinking of just taking the car AC system, but replacing the evaporator with a refrigerant to the water heat exchanger, and circulating that water through the cool shirt / seat system.    Yes, it will draw some HP, but we can do like a production car, and shut the compressor off at WOT.

I know I can easily fabricate the hardware, that's no big deal, but what's escaping me is compressor, and orifice sizing. 

Anyone else ever try this?   Am I crazy?  (Wait, don't answer that, I already know that answer).

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Problem is, You mostly race at WOT.

Now get a Prius Electric Compressor and you may be on the right track.

Stuff like LeMans cars I believe run on electric compressors.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

If it wasn't for the whole compressed gas problem in the rules the Lemony way would be to use an ammonia chiller that used waste exhaust heat for the boiler.

The biggest issue I see for a conventional setup is making sure you choose the correct set of pulley diameters so you don't keep the compressor spinning too fast for too long. It will foam up the oil and you'll blow the thing up. You'll need to have a setup that runs the compressor at 1/3 to no more than 1/2 the normal RPM of a street car.

Beyond that you can certainly do a heat exchanger. Scavenge one out of a geothermal heatpump and you're done. Otherwise you can make one pretty easily using some refrigeration tubing that fits inside some normal plumbing pipe. Bend  the fridge tubing into a coil and drop it into a pipe that fits.

Check out the VW compressors. They have a valve inside for capacity settings. They don't cycle on and off like conventional ones. The "low" setting might be closer to what you want with such a light load. It won't matter that much if you put on a good sized accumulator.

If you rig in a thermostatic expansion valve you don't have to worry so much about the calcs. It will cover up a multitude of sins.

4 (edited by mike944 2017-06-18 05:26 PM)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Hmmm, I hadn't considered the absorptive refrigeration cycle. I think I need to do some more reading on that...... I never did really comprehended how that actually works.    I'm not sure where you're reading the "no compressed gasses"   That would mean that everyone would be required to remove the AC system in their cars. 

I've definitely thought about doing it electrically, the problem is at 12V, it will draw an insane amount of current.    From some quick internet research, the Prius compressor that guildenstern mentioned runs at 206v, 3-phase, with a variable frequency drive to control it.   Let's for a minute, ignore the heart attack that's going to give Pagel,  and let's consider it only from a technical perspective.      I'm pretty sure there's no off-the-shelf 12vdc to 208v VFD's available on any even remotely lemony budget, so i'd have to make my own.    206V is bad enough by itself, never mind the fact that now it's being controlled by sketchy homebuilt electronics.   I'm not sure I'D feel safe doing that, forget about what the tech guys would say!    So, I think we're going to have to throw that suggestion out.

So, I'm back to something crankshaft driven.   Good comment about the RPM, I hadn't thought it through that deeply yet.  As-to WOT,  i'm hoping a car sized system will be massively oversized, and will function acceptably while only being driven during braking and cornering.    I'll definitely need a large liquid reservoir to smooth out the irregularities from only being driven 25% of the time.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

I durped around the idea as well. and my conclusion was.
Take the evaporator and place it in a cooler, submerse the entire thing in water.
Set a thermometer to regulate water temperature, so could run the ac clutch as you like. This gives you the source for cold water to cool the driver. Could also run it till it freezes over, and then dont have to run it for a long time.
Since we run our cars more that 2x faster that street, do underdrive pulley, so ac runs 1/2 the speed of the engine. Instead of 1:1 like most do.
Even lower speeds would do, say ac should be running 1200rpm, and engine is turning 5000, so ratio would be 4.17:1, deep reduction, but possible.
Running AC through electric means, require way too much watts, and unless have enough battery capacity, kinda makes it hard.

What trackGeel_chris suggested with Ammonia chiller might be a solution too. But they require proper separation, might not work well with G forces.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

mike944 wrote:

I'm not sure where you're reading the "no compressed gasses"   That would mean that everyone would be required to remove the AC system in their cars.

True, the rules only explicitly prohibit compressed fuels, but John Pagel posted the following in 2014 and 2010, respectively:

Evil Genius wrote:

We (This is royal we, as in the Lemons staff) have pretty well decided to say no to any kind of large pressure vessel in a race car.

Evil Genius wrote:

...the only high pressure container I will allow in a race car will contain fire suppressant, not accelerant.

So far as I know, Lemons HQ hasn't said anything about factory air conditioning but I suspect they wouldn't be thrilled by the thought of dealing with the various unpleasantnesses that can arise from ammonia, such as its toxicity and its tendency to decompose and release hydrogen at elevated temperatures.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

came across this old thread.


http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewt … p?id=28330

not sure if it helps...

MarioKart Driving School: 1987 Honda Prelude Opus #28  (still can't win anything...)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

mike944 wrote:

Hmmm, I hadn't considered the absorptive refrigeration cycle. I think I need to do some more reading on that...... I never did really comprehended how that actually works.    I'm not sure where you're reading the "no compressed gasses"   That would mean that everyone would be required to remove the AC system in their cars. 

I've definitely thought about doing it electrically, the problem is at 12V, it will draw an insane amount of current.    From some quick internet research, the Prius compressor that guildenstern mentioned runs at 206v, 3-phase, with a variable frequency drive to control it.   Let's for a minute, ignore the heart attack that's going to give Pagel,  and let's consider it only from a technical perspective.      I'm pretty sure there's no off-the-shelf 12vdc to 208v VFD's available on any even remotely lemony budget, so i'd have to make my own.    206V is bad enough by itself, never mind the fact that now it's being controlled by sketchy homebuilt electronics.   I'm not sure I'D feel safe doing that, forget about what the tech guys would say!    So, I think we're going to have to throw that suggestion out.
.


CRIPES! I didn't know it was that out in LaLa Land. Just take a wiper motor and drive the compressor or something else sane and 12V.

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9 (edited by Guildenstern 2017-06-18 09:34 PM)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

mharrell wrote:
mike944 wrote:

I'm not sure where you're reading the "no compressed gasses"   That would mean that everyone would be required to remove the AC system in their cars.

True, the rules only explicitly prohibit compressed fuels, but John Pagel posted the following in 2014 and 2010, respectively:

Evil Genius wrote:

We (This is royal we, as in the Lemons staff) have pretty well decided to say no to any kind of large pressure vessel in a race car.

Evil Genius wrote:

...the only high pressure container I will allow in a race car will contain fire suppressant, not accelerant.

So far as I know, Lemons HQ hasn't said anything about factory air conditioning but I suspect they wouldn't be thrilled by the thought of dealing with the various unpleasantnesses that can arise from ammonia, such as its toxicity and its tendency to decompose and release hydrogen at elevated temperatures.

Hehehe Heheheheha!

Toss this one against the wall. Halon is a refrigerant!

A/C AND fire bottle in one!

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Guildenstern wrote:

CRIPES! I didn't know it was that out in LaLa Land. Just take a wiper motor and drive the compressor or something else sane and 12V.

Seem to recall that it takes 3-5HP to drive an AC compressor so that would require one hell of a big wiper motor.  Seems like a more likely candidate would be one of those electric PS pump motors but even then I dont think there's enough oomph.  In the link mzavarin posted where this was discussed before, an AC engineer pointed out various problems with using an AC evaporator in the coolsuit cooler (i.e. hundreds of pounds of pressure going through hooptie lines, etc).  Seems to me if you still have the AC hooked up, just duct it to your helmet is a better solution.  Keep your head cool and the rest of your body is much happier.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

This idea comes up now and then, i think the complexity just makes it not worth pursuing.

The best idea i've seen to the ice problem is to use a bunch of large ice packs. No water to remove from the cooler, just pull the melted pack and drop in a new one. I occasionally use the food services like blue apron, and those come with two monster ice packs. I've been saving them up to try out at Thompson.

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12 (edited by -SDR- 2017-06-19 05:11 AM)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

If keeping a factory A/C in the car is legal then why can't the factory evaporator be placed under the hood inside a small cooler filled with water and then use a small electric pump to circulate that water to the driver's suit?

Please note I said: IF

I think this is, or is similar to the O/P's description.

Also, I'm not looking to do this for myself, as my double digit H/P car is not even fast enough to be able to carry a block of ice......



Bill

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Our plan for NJMP this year was to freeze several 1-gallon jugs of water and just swap them into the cool shirt ice box without draining or adding water.  Of course, it was not hot enough for us to use the cool shirt system, but we're hoping it works next time.

14 (edited by VKZ24 2017-06-19 05:22 AM)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

I've been racing in Lemons since '08 and have never had to remove water from the cooler, and we add ice every stop.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
#411
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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

mharrell wrote:
mike944 wrote:

I'm not sure where you're reading the "no compressed gasses"   That would mean that everyone would be required to remove the AC system in their cars.

True, the rules only explicitly prohibit compressed fuels, but John Pagel posted the following in 2014 and 2010, respectively:

Evil Genius wrote:

We (This is royal we, as in the Lemons staff) have pretty well decided to say no to any kind of large pressure vessel in a race car.

Evil Genius wrote:

...the only high pressure container I will allow in a race car will contain fire suppressant, not accelerant.

So far as I know, Lemons HQ hasn't said anything about factory air conditioning but I suspect they wouldn't be thrilled by the thought of dealing with the various unpleasantnesses that can arise from ammonia, such as its toxicity and its tendency to decompose and release hydrogen at elevated temperatures.

I think you're right about ammonia.  so the absorptive refrigeration cycle is out.

So i will have to get clarification about A/C systems, and the "pressure vessel", since all AC systems (factory and otherwise) contain a pressure vessel.      Perhaps i may have to use a fire-suppressing refrigerant?   Something like HCFC-124 maybe.

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16

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

TheEngineer wrote:

This idea comes up now and then, i think the complexity just makes it not worth pursuing.

The best idea i've seen to the ice problem is to use a bunch of large ice packs. No water to remove from the cooler, just pull the melted pack and drop in a new one. I occasionally use the food services like blue apron, and those come with two monster ice packs. I've been saving them up to try out at Thompson.

I bought a bunch of these: http://www.rubbermaid.com/en-US/weekender-pack

They are farily large (7" x 7" x 2") and are pretty cheap (about $3 each at HD or Lowes) and claim to last longer than plain ice. But, the the problem remains: How to keep enough of ANYTHING frozen all weekend long. Once the ice packs are used up, there is no way to re-freeze them at the track.

Has anyone tried using dry ice to keep your supply of regular ice frozen? We spent a fortune last year buying ice at the track just for our food/drinks cooler.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

RSB wrote:

Has anyone tried using dry ice to keep your supply of regular ice frozen? We spent a fortune last year buying ice at the track just for our food/drinks cooler.

We have, and it works, but dry ice ain't cheap.  We found it was just an extra hassle and expense.

Captain
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#411
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18 (edited by VKZ24 2017-06-19 06:02 AM)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Ack!  Double post.

Captain
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#411
'93 Acura Integra

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

If you accept that you cannot actively chill the water, what about a peltier-based system to prolong the life of the ice? Several of those can easily run it off 12V but the key would be the vent the heat out of your car (and not just out of the ice container). This might necessitate some relocation of that box and/or some heat pipes.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NASCAR-KOOLBOX- … mp;vxp=mtr

Driver comfort, so budget exempt!

21

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

ross2004 wrote:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NASCAR-KOOLBOX- … mp;vxp=mtr

Driver comfort, so budget exempt!

And that's the price for a rebuilt one!

These are Peltier-based systems. Per the datasheet, this will draw 25A @ 12VDC on the high setting and will drop the ambient air temp by 20-30 degrees. Even if the outside air is over 90 degrees, this should make a big difference.

I went through the math a while ago to figure out how much power it would take to use only a TE cooler with a cold plate to chill the return water from the driver. Don't remember exactly how much, but it was lots, with very high 12V currents. There are a bunch of YouTube videos showing how a TE plate can freeze water, but that's with only a few drops of water, not the high thermal load that the return water line from the coolshirt will generate. The TE plates are just not that efficient with a high thermal load. Then you get losses at the interface of the coldplate and the TE device. And unless you dump the waste heat overboard, you are just heating up the cockpit again. Is it do-able? I think so, but the cost, size, and complexity doesn't seem worth it. Plus, the TE device will only generate a fixed drop below ambient temp, so the "cold" temp will rise as the ambient rises. And, if the system fans stop working and power is still applied, the TE devices will heat up to the point of burning.


I had the same idea of using a pre-packaged thermoelectric chest to hold the ice (and slow down the melt rate) but the cooler manuals say not to use ice or water in the cooler because it might screw up the motor or freeze up the heat sink. They have open slots inside to allow air to circulate around the cooling device. Maybe a cooler-in-a-cooler scheme??

https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Quart-Po … powerchill

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

I've used dry ice before. Works fantastic. It's not that expensive near me, just grab a bunch and dedicate a cooler to keeping your ice frozen.

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

TheEngineer wrote:

I've used dry ice before. Works fantastic. It's not that expensive near me, just grab a bunch and dedicate a cooler to keeping your ice frozen.

Exactly what we do.

24 (edited by billybobster 2017-06-19 08:42 PM)

Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

TrackGeeks_Chris wrote:
TheEngineer wrote:

I've used dry ice before. Works fantastic. It's not that expensive near me, just grab a bunch and dedicate a cooler to keeping your ice frozen.

Exactly what we do.

We had a problem with dry ice. It would gather at the pump inlet, freeze the water into an iceberg and stop the water flow. Have you experienced this and if so, what did you do? Our thought was to make a divider to keep the dry ice away, but we went back to regular ice.

PS: https://www.freshwatersystems.com/ is an excellent source for Cool Shirt compatible valved fittings - 1/3 to 1/2 the price of McMaster Carr/Grainger

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Re: Anyone try running a cool shirt/cool seat using the AC system?

Sorry, you don't put it in the car cooler. You use it to refreeze your water bottles that go into that cooler.