MIT Engineer at Hyderabad develops clothes to heat OR cool the wearer

Kranthi Kiran Vistakula, an engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of technology, working with an enthusiastic young team in an isolated building near Hyderabad city, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is developing clothes which keep the wearer comfortable in extreme temperatures (same clothing for both extreme cold and extreme Hot). Upbeat by the utility and progress of his innovation, Vistakula who started with a jacket, is now applying his idea to shoes, scarves and even dinner plates. Even a jacket for cows.

The clothes use Peltier light-weight plastic plates with a thermo electric device. The device is powered by rechargeable batteries which can be topped up by vehicles or even solar panels. They can last up to eight hours on one charge.

While demoing his invention in his company, Dhama Innovations laboratory, where outside, the summer temperature is more than 40C; Mr Vistakula, wearing a state of the art ClimaWare-jacket based on his own patented technology, looked as comfortable as if he is in a cool climate.

What is a Peltier plate?

A Peltier plate consists of a junction between two metals. When an electric current passes through the junction, metal on one side heats up and on the other side it cools down, explains Mr. Vistakula. The idea about the wonder jacket came to Mr.s Vistakula during his engineering years at MIT. Back then, his prototype used to weigh about 5kgs, had wires and fans, and looked more like a bomber's suit. The size of the jacket made him make a fresh start with Peltier plates.

There may also be a medical application for the technology. The team is working on a product called Haemosave which can freeze blood oozing out of a wound. It is described as a potential life saver. It uses cryo or ice therapy to stop the blood flow and contract the blood vessels. Other medical products include knee, neck wraps and elbow wraps. These devices can go instantly from 0C to 50C and help in controlling pain.

How the jacket looks like?

The climate-controlled jacket, weighs a little more than 1kg, and has been successfully tested by the Indian army in Siachen glacier where temperatures are as low as -40C in winter.

Taking the idea to the real world:

Mr Vistakula is currently busy setting up a manufacturing facility near Hyderabad for the mass production of his products, which include jackets, shoes, scarves, gloves and ear muffs. He is even considering mass produce a special jacket for cows (something Indian bovines will surely like as they have to brave extreme temperatures on both extremities in a year). A non-stressed cow will be beneficial to the farmer too as a less stressed cattle gives more milk. --------

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