Shane Hedmond

image courtesy of Feher Research Inc.
image courtesy of Feher Research Inc.

It seems a little odd to be talking about air-conditioning when much of the United States hit some incredibly low temperatures in recent days, but a product that I learned about recently is just too exciting to ignore. Announced at CES 2021, a research company has unveiled an air-conditioned hard hat (ACHH) that can reduce the ambient temperature up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit!

Feher Research Inc. has taken a standard looking hard hat and turned it into the world’s first and only self-contained, portable air-conditioned headgear. This isn’t like a standard A/C unit with refrigerants running through copper lines, though; it uses the Peltier effect, the same thermoelectric technology used to cool the water coolers you might have in your office.

(It’s also similar to the technology used for the Sony t-shirt air conditioners I’ve mentioned before.)

This A/C Hard Hat isn’t backed by some Joe Schmo who just strapped a fan to the back of a hard hat, either.  The inventor of the product, Steve Feher, has been designing and patenting cooling products since the 1960s and created new technologies for cooling car seats that are used by Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Infiniti, Lexus, and GM. He’s also the creator of the Feher Helmet, the world’s first air-conditioned motorcycle helmet.

The Hard Hat can be powered in multiple ways, the most important being through a 3ah lithium ion battery. According to the current specs, this battery will provide 2 hours of run time.  If you work a more stationary job, the hard hat can also be plugged in for continuous run time.

Even with the added components, the ACHH is impressively light weighing in at 18.05 oz with the battery, only about 2-4 ounces more than a traditional hard hat.

image courtesy of Feher Research Inc.
image courtesy of Feher Research Inc.

As far as head protection goes, it will still need to pass ANSI standards in order to work on a jobsite.  The adjustable head band of the hard hat is removed to make room for the components of the cooling system, which is sized like a baseball cap for optimum cooling effect.  Feher believes there are benefits to the construction of the helmet innards though:

“…the ACHH is sized like a hat and covers the users head with a unique air flow structure for maximum head cooling, which also spreads any impact force over a larger scalp area than conventional hardhats that have straps with an adjustable head band” Feher explained, “The conventional straps don’t cover the entire scalp, in order to allow the scalp to breathe, so any impact force is transferred to the users scalp with fewer square inches of area than the ACHH, which cover more area and provides sub-ambient air closely to the users head..”

Feher is offering licenses for his technology on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis and the tech will also be available for purchase.  MSRP for the AC Hardhat is expected to be around $140-150, which will include a 3ah battery, a battery charger, and a universal ac power supply.