Degree Show 2018

Thomas Kimberley

  • 17 Penso Consulting LTD - Design Engineer
  • 18 Diploma in Professional Studies
  • 16 Shortlisted for YST Design Competition
  • Could autonomous vehicles improve the users quality of life through user experience design

New Designers 2018


A lightweight cooling device for endurance racing drivers

As an avid motorsport fan, Thomas Kimberley, discovered that current GT teams were forced to use air conditioning systems in the cockpits of their race cars. The air conditioning unit is crucial to driver comfort as cockpits can exceed temperatures of 40˚C. However at 40kg it can prove to be a disadvantage when trying to keep the car as light as possible to achieve the quickest times in a race.

After further research Thomas developed Fortis, a lightweight driver cooling system for endurance race drivers. The device provides instantly cool filtered air to the driver’s helmet. The device absorbs cold water through an evaporative filter made of fibres, creating a capillary effect. As the air passes through the filter it expends energy turning the water into vapour. The energy loss causes the air to cool. This is the cool air that is then delivered to the driver via their helmet attachment. The helmet attachment allows the driver to comfortably direct cool air to their optimum location, whilst having full access to their visor.

This cooled air travels through the hose, which is attached to the driver’s helmet. The complete system weighs less than 5kg and provides cooling for up to 3 hours. The design also features LED lights that provide instant feedback on water levels and filter lifespan. As most endurance drivers are racing for up to 3 hours per stint, this device will provide a welcome relief to the hot, humid and stressful conditions in the cockpit.

Thomas has really enjoyed working on this project and credits his own father for instilling a love of motorsport from an early age. He hopes to develop this passion into a career and wishes to work within a design consultancy specialising in projects around the automotive sector.

Fortis Animation