I will first start with an introduction about myself. I am a graduate student from the TU Delft in the Netherlands and I am currently looking into making a cooling system for people with spinal cord injury (mainly tetraplegics but everyone with trouble keeping his/her body temperature low is welcome). The need for such a system came from SCI sporters but also rehabilitation centers. The plan is to eventually come with a working prototype which can help people to decrease the rise of the core temperature during activities and/or warm environments.
My goal is to make the product really usable for the user and therefore I would like your input. Currently I'm thinking about a shirt/vest that contains fans and water sprays on the inside to mimic sweating. However, my question is would you like a shirt or vest with this or would you rather want it integrated in the wheelchair. Any experiences with cooling vests/shirts or places you really want cooling is welcome! We can also talk about it in PM or over a call what you like most.
PS: I'm sorry if this is not the place to ask, but instead of developing the idea based on scientific research I really want as much direct input as possible from the people who have this problem.
I have often thought about something to cool in the cushion. Summer time our butts sweat. I would think something to do on the chair. Not sure why you would use water, too many issues of having excess water on you as well as possible issues with the electronics on a power chair
I put an ice pack on my shoulder or the back of my neck when the temperature is too hot. But if I put it on my back, then lean forward, the ice pack slips down, or even falls on the floor. Having a comfortable and secure way to keep an ice pack on my back or lower side (while seated in my wheelchair) would be helpful.
That's true, I did not think about the complications with an electric wheelchair. The water is coming from the fact that most people I talked to were using either a water spray, an evaporation vest or a cold towel. Another reason for this was the ability to use the product for a longer time, whereas if you work with ice etc it will only work a couple hours. But i'll look into it! lavender,would you only want the cooling the cushion or also in the backrest? vintage,did you ever try a vest like this www.thewarmingstore.com/techkewl-phase-change-cooling-vest-nomex.html. Or would you rather not have a full garment of it?
I put an ice pack on my shoulder or the back of my neck when the temperature is too hot. But if I put it my back, then lean forward, the ice pack slips down, or even falls on the floor. Having a comfortable and secure way to keep an ice pack on my back or lower side (while seated in my wheelchair) would be helpful.
There are many different types of gel wraps for the body on Ebay.....I have found gel stays colder for longer than just ice packs. People also make ice packs with those garden water beads because they swell and hold the water, I bought a couple from China for $1....just put them in water, they swell and Ive chucked them in the freezer.... I bought them before I realised they are only water beads in enclosed material...oh well.
I was thinking of making my own for summer here in Aus, here is the link if you want... www.instructables.com/id/Water-Bead-Ice-Pack/. The handy thing about this one is that it doesn't freeze into a solid block. I don't think it'd be too hard to make a material wrap to hold the gel pads with Velcro to hold it onto shoulders and neck
They also have cooling vests on Ebay starting from $12
For me I find my butt hotter because of the rubber in the seat cushion, I do put a cloth, the type used to wick the water away in homemade diapers which helps in the summer. I would not wear a garment, I already get looks for being in a chair. Wish the seat back was not a solid piece. Although if it had holes in it the seat cover would very expensive.