Power shortages in Japan lead to innovative air conditioned clothes

This battery operated jacket keeps you cool no matter what the temperature

In the wake of the devastating disasters that rocked Japan earlier this year, power shortages have abounded. With summer’s sweltering heat, one entrepreneur has seized the opportunity to have his quirky invention take hold.

Created by Hiroshi Ichigaya, a former Sony technician, Kuchofuku or air-conditioned clothing –  jackets and clothes with built-in electric fans – may not be high fashion, but they definitely make a difference in beating the heat.

Two battery-operated electric fans are embedded in the sides of the bulky-looking Kuchofuku jackets, and draw air in as they turn. The constant breeze circulating within the jacket keeps its wearer cool and comfortable. evaporating sweat and creating a personal cooling system that functions no matter what the surrounding temperature.

The idea for this functional clothing came to Ichigaya  after seeing building construction during a trip to Southeast Asia. Struck by the enormity of their impact on global warming  just from their air conditioners, later research showed him it wasn’t necessary to cool an entire room, only those within it.

Building on his original collection of a standard air-conditioned jacket, which sells for roughly $140 online, Ichigaya’s Kuchofuku collection now features an air-conditioned, button-up shirt, a hooded jacket, short-sleeved shirt for women, and cargo pants with fans installed in each pocket. The company also sells air-conditioned cushions and mattresses that use Ichigaya’s patented plastic mesh system that allows air to circulate while supporting weight.

Air circulates throughout the inside of the jacket, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable

More than half the nuclear plants throughout Japan have shut down or gone idle due to safety concerns since the March 11th disaster crippled the reactors and shut down the Fukushina Nuclear Power Plant. That’s strained the energy grid and the Japanese have had to reduce power and especially air conditioner use.

Currently over 1,000 companies in Japan use this cooling clothing – including automobile giants, steelmakers, food and construction companies. Ichigaya has received huge order requests and calls from companies in China, India and the United States.

Seems like this is a simple and not too expensive way to beat the heat – at work, at home in your garage, even while enjoying hikes in the great outdoors during hot summer months. Now wouldn’t that be great!

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One Response

  1. But there’s question, how long the batteries powered the jacket? Anyway, this jacket is a breakthrough.

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