Air-conditioned driving seats
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
• Shown for the first time at the Hevac exhibition (Olympia, London, April 20 to 25) is a new method of controlling the temperature of vehicle driving seats. The unit contains no moving parts and uses no other element than compressed air, sufficient quantities of which can be obtained from a vehicle's air braking system.
The unit, shown by Vortair Engineering Ltd, of 78 Buckingham Gate, London SW1, air is passed at speed through a vortex, the is based on a French discovery that when centrifugal action in the vortex causes the molecules of air to separate into two distinct temperature ranges, the hot molecules going to the outside of the vortex and the cold to the centre.
By piping off the two streams, separate currents of hot and cold air are obtainable During a demonstration at Olympia last Tuesday, writes Ron Cater, air blasts from a hot tube and a cold tube of the Vortair unit were played simultaneously on a pair of thermometers which at the start of the demonstration both read 65deg F. In slightly over one minute the thermometer at the hot tube was reading 130deg F and that at the cold, 15deg F.
A demonstration seat, with a Vortair unit installed, held a temperature of only 48deg F while being sat on for some 10 minutes. The temperature held in a seat fitted with the unit can be controlled easily by a valve, which meters the air streams before they pass into perforated tubes within The seat. The air pressure to operate the units is tapped off the braking system which is protected by a valve that isolates the vortex tubes when the main pressure system falls below 85 psi.
Although there' are no final figures of price available at present, the maker envisages a seat complete with the system costing about £30.