Road rage is a persistent menace in India and it can partially be blamed on the excessively hot climate, especially during the summers. After all, heat does tend to make one cranky. Those on four-wheelers still have a respite, thanks to their vehicle’s air-conditioning. But what about the folks on two-wheelers? How do they keep their cool in the scorching heat? A Bengaluru based mechanical engineer has the answer.
Sandeep Dahiya has come up with a unique solution for this, an air-conditioner for helmets. The device created by him attaches to a helmet and can help keep the helmet both hot and cool. Named Vatanukul, the equipment sits inside a backpack that has to be worn by the rider for the keeping the helmet cool.
Dahiya showcases the portable helmet air-conditioner In a YouTube video. As per the video, it took him 4 and a half years to build a working iteration of the device. Dahiya says that Vatanukul can be retrofitted on any helmet, but the helmet has to be sent to the team for retrofitting.
The basic idea is to have pipes inside the helmet for air circulation. These pipes are then connected to the unit in the backpack which is the actual air conditioner. The device has two modes, hot and cool. In the cool mode, Dahiya demonstrated a temperature drop of around 7 degrees within a minute of switching the device on and claims that this can go on to a 10 to 12 degrees celsius drop.
The unit in the backpack weighs around 1.8 kgs and is powered by the vehicle’s battery. A plug connecting the two has to be inserted for it to work. The controller can then be adjusted for the appropriate temperature, with corresponding blue and red lights on it to indicate cool and hot air flow respectively.
How it works
Once the air-conditioning unit is switched on, it will start blowing conditioned air through the blower. That is when the riders can connect the unit to the back of the helmet through retrofitted pipes. All the while, the portable air conditioner should be connected to the two-wheeler’s battery through a plug as demonstrated in the video.
Once connected, the air-conditioned air will cool (or heat) the helmet through pipes running inside it. Result, the rider gets a fresh air flow of a desired temperature. Dahiya cautions that the unit can cause a minor restriction in turning your neck, because of which he has used a flexing material for connecting the blower and the helmet.
The idea behind the air-conditioned helmet was to create a user-friendly protection for riders, as regular helmets can turn out to be quite suffocating, especially during the tropical summer months in the country. Now that a helmet with air-conditioning is available, two-wheeler users might find respite from the heat too. Now that’s called an innovation!