Overall goal#

To make a ‘smart’ heater from sodium acetate trihydrate crystals that can be triggered (formed) and recharged (melted) on demand. SAT is a phase change material, which, according to Wikipedia:

is a substance with a high heat of fusion which, melting and solidifying at a certain temperature, is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy. Heat is absorbed or released when the material changes from solid to liquid and vice versa.

Being able to control SAT reliably so that it could be incorporated in an electronic circuit is the main goal of this project.

Motivation and inspiration#

In Boston, it gets really cold in the winter. The current solution is to wear several layers of clothing, but when temperatures dip below freezing, solutions such as handwarmers and electric heating pads can be used to provide portable heat. Heating solutions that require constant electricity require a constant supply of energy. Handwarmers, on the other hand, can provide a constant supply of heat for up to 5 hours without the need of constant electricity. The problem, however, is that the user cannot control when he/she can shut off the heat given off by the handwarmers.


Big picture application of concept

The main research questions to be answered in this project

Note change from the original project pitch made in Dec 2018#

My project has morphed into many forms, from working on a better headset for holding EEG electrodes, to making an inflatable jacket.
The final project pitch presentation can be downloaded here.