Here is an early stage prototype I made out of silicone rubber. Water is injected into the channels and the sheet covers a black surface to maximize the absorption of solar energy. In places where accessing water brings risks of getting sick, on a hot day water can be hand-pumped onto a roof, to kill pathogens in the water with UV light, provide clean warm water for washing, all while mitigating the heat in the shady structure below.
I built this machine to learn to control air injections into concrete tiles. See PATENT for further details.
personalized climate control
The remarkable thing about using viscous fingering (VF) to grow channels into silicone membranes is the ability to produce rapidly customized garments. One workflow uses Autodesk’s Remake 3D scanning technology to create a surface model, unfold it using Pepakura into a flat shape and laser-weld Mylar envelopes to be used as tailored flat molds to cast injected VF air channels into and apply back on the body.
To determine the who what where when and why of wearable climate change, we polled the Loonskin Labs network. A survey was sent out and 115 people responded. Through this we found that during the summer people are often made very uncomfortable by the heat, and that while drenching themselves in cold water was the most effective way to cool down, this was often not an option. They reported that a cooling shirt would be the ideal wearable cooling garment, and that they would pay between $30-$60 CAD for a device.
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