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Cool Weather Bicycle Trailer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004548D
Publication Date: 2001-Jan-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 453K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Bicycles rides are pleasurable for both children and adults. One way in which parents with small children can enjoy this activity together is by attaching a trailer to the adult's bicycle. On cooler days, however, children often can get cold from riding in the trailer because unlike the parent bicycling, they are not exerting any energy during the ride that would keep them warm. What is needed is a way to keep children warm in bicycle trailers on cool days. The present invention is an improved bicycle trailer that includes a conventional bicycle trailer 100 with a seat 110 for comfort, a visor 120 for wind protection, and two velcro-attached sodium acetate heating pads 130 for heat, as arranged in Figure 1. Heating pad 130 contains water, food grade sodium acetate trihydrate, and a stainless steel disk 220. When the pad is in its liquid state it is a "super saturated" solution. Flexing the metal disc in the liquid pad creates a chain reaction causing the pad to crystallize. This crystallization always occurs at a temperature of 54 deg C. Once activated, heating pad 130 has available to it a predetermined amount of energy. It will use this energy to increase the temperature of the pad to 54 deg C and use whatever is left to maintain that temperature. This ability to produce heat for a period of time is accomplished because all of the liquid does not crystallize immediately. Molecules that were not required to heat the pad to its maximum temperature will remain liquid, and crystallize as required, to maintain the maximum temperature. Once heating pad 130 has given off all of its heat it will remain in its crystallized state until it is recharged. This is accomplished by placing the crystallized pad in boiling water for 5 to 20 minutes (depending upon the size of the pad) until all of the crystals are melted. Once completely liquefied, remove heating pad 130 from the water and store it until it is required. Heating pad 130 should remain liquid as it cools. If crystals form as the pad cools it has not been boiled long enough. Depending on its size, starting temperature, and insulation heating pad 130 will provide heat from 15 minutes to 6 hours. There is no limit as to the number of times heating pad 130 can be used. There are pads still in use after fifteen years. The pad will not operate if there is a hole in the vinyl. Heating pad 130 is preferably manufactured from the same vinyl as is used in water beds. In operation, if a child riding in bicycle trailer gets cold, the child can activate heating pad 130 simply by pressing stainless steel disk 220. Because their are no electronics, moving parts, or other safety hazards, the bags are extremely safe for children. Moreover, because the temperature of the bag can never exceed 54 deg C, the risk of burning also is minimized.

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Cool Weather Bicycle Trailer

Bicycles rides are pleasurable for both children and adults. One way in which parents with small children can enjoy this activity together is by attaching a trailer to the adult's bicycle. On cooler days, however, children often can get cold from riding in the trailer because unlike the parent bicycling, they are not exerting any energy during the ride that would keep them warm. What is needed is a way to keep children warm in bicycle trailers on cool days.

The present invention is an improved bicycle trailer that includes a conventional bicycle trailer 100 with a seat 110 for comfort, a visor 120 for wind protection, and two velcro-attached sodium acetate heating pads 130 for heat, as arranged in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Top view of a bicycle trailer with heating pad system

Figure 2 sodium acetate heating pad

Heating pad 130 contains water, food grade sodium acetate trihydrate, and a stainless steel disk 220. When the pad is in its liquid state it is a "super saturated" solution. Flexing the metal disc in the liquid pad creates a chain reaction causing the pad to crystallize. This crystallization always occurs at a temperature of 54o C.

Once activated, heating pad 130 has available to it a predetermined amount of energy. It will use this energy to increase the temperature of the pad to 54o C and use whatever is left to maintain that temperature. This ability to produce heat for a period of time is accomplished because all of the liquid does not crystallize immediately. Molecules that were not required to heat the pad to its maximum temperature will remain liquid, and crystallize as required, to maintain the maximum temperature.

Once heating pad 130 has given off all of its heat it will remain in its crystallized state until it is recharged. This is accomplished by placing the crystallized pad in boiling water for 5 to 20 minutes (depending upon the size of the pad) until all of the crystals are melted. Once completely liquefied, remove heating pad 130 from the water and store it until it is required. Heating pad 130 should remain liquid as it cools. If crystals form as the pad cools it has not been boiled long enough.

Depending on its size, starting temperature, and insulation heating pad 130 will provide heat from 15 minutes to 6 hours. There is no limit as to the number of times heating pad 130 can be used. There are pads still in use after fifteen years. The pad will not operate if there is a hole in the vinyl. Heating pad 130 is preferably manufactured from the same vinyl as is used in water beds.

In operation, if a child riding in bicycle trailer gets cold, the child can activate heating pad 130 simply by pressing stainless steel disk 220. Because their are no electronics, moving parts, or other safety hazards, the bags are extremely safe for children. Moreover, because the temperature of the bag can never exceed 54o C, the r...