ROCKLEDGE, FL – October 11th, 2010 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a leading research and development company specializing in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a man-portable, active cooling system with dehumidification capabilities for personal protective equipment/clothing.
The call for this technology has stemmed from the poor working conditions associated with workers in contaminated areas of nuclear facilities and the need to mitigate the effects of heat stress. No matter how thin or lightweight an enclosed protective suit can be made, a worker in a hot environment can experience the effects of heat stress. Unless the suit is able to remove heat from the body and either store that energy or reject it to the atmosphere, the suit will act as insulation. Mainstream’s active system will be able to provide a cool/dry environment for these workers in even the hottest of environments. The system will be lightweight and have similar volume requirements to a small backpack.
In addition to providing a safe and comfortable working environment to nuclear facilities workers, these personal cooling systems can be used for a number of different environments. This technology will benefit operators of large paint booths, workers in clean rooms, workers in other contaminated areas, as well as military personnel that are required to wear Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) suits.