Phase change material for football helmet cooling system
Football helmets worn during sports or high intense practices can aggravate the thermal load on the athletes, especially under sunny and humid weather conditions. Lack of heat dissipation can reduce their cognitive ability and resulting in loss of motor functions. Among athletes, football players are individuals most prone to heat-related deaths and illnesses during games and practices. Cricket players, who play extended innings, are also subjected to excessive heat related disabilities. This work investigates the utilization of phase change materials in football helmets to maintain a comfortable head temperature for the athletes. The impact of solar radiation and wind speed on the cooling system were also examined. PCM pouch thicknesses have been analyzed for the optimization of heat flux values using Ansys Mechanical APDL software. The effect of pouch thickness on the cooling system was examined. The recharge time of the PCM to reuse them in helmets for cooling has been analyzed. The results indicate that the PCM cooling system can maintain a comfortable head temperature for up to 56 minutes. An optimum pouch thickness of 17 mm provides best cooling. The heat accumulated in the PCM pouch can be released by placing it in an ice box cooler for 15 minutes or placing it at room temperature for one hour to solidify it before reusing. Although the emphasis of this study is on the cooling of a football helmet, the results may be applied to the implementation of phase change material cooling solutions in several other products.