Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 26 – It’s Getting Hot in Here, so Chillout!
digital display on cooler showing 66.9 Fahrenheit
We have chilling!

The system is self bleeding, but it will take a few cycles to get all the air bubbles out. You’ll end up needing to add some more coolant a couple of times, which can be really difficult when the cooler is buried behind your roll cage on the driver side. I ended up using a funnel and… spilling some.

The digital display shows the current temperature and this particular version can be adjusted in 5-degree increments all the way down to 35 degrees. I assure you, even 50 degree coolant is pretty damned cold.

Once the system is primed and bled, you can then attach the longer insulated coolant hose, and put the priming loop on the end of that. Again, run the system, it will auto-shut-off when it gets low on coolant (to protect itself), and then add more coolant. At that point, you’re all done!

My first use of this system was at #GRIDLIFE at Road Atlanta. It was well into the 90s, and just sitting in the shade of the tent was miserable. I ran the system with the priming loop as I was warming up the car and getting ready to get in. I put on my cooling shirt, put on my driving suit, and threaded the end of the cooling tubes out of the bottom zipper in my driving suit.

Getting belted in took a moment to figure out in order to make sure that everything was in the right place, but it felt natural almost instantly. Then, I turned off the system, unhooked the priming loop, hooked in my shirt, and powered it back up.

And then I yelped like a dog who got thrown in a bathtub.

It feels REALLY WEIRD as the coolant starts flowing through the shirt. Then you realize that it feels really cold. Then you realize that it feels really weird and really cold and you panic because you’ve never felt this before and you’re sure that the system is just spewing coolant all in your driver suit, but it’s not. Or is it? Or did you pee yourself? No, it’s just cold. It’s fine. This is fine. Everything is fine.

I don’t recall what I ended up setting the system to, but it was not 35 degrees. It was somewhere in the 55-65F range, I think. I spent the day trying to figure out what worked for me given the ambient temperature and my own personal comfort level. But that’s the awesome thing about this system. It’s adjustable! With an ice-cooler based system, you get one thing: ice water. The funny thing about ice water is that it’s roughly always the melting temperature of ice, which is 32F. If that’s too cold, you’re out of luck. At least with the Chillout Systems Quantum Cooler, you can control your comfort level.

Oh, and if you really want the ultimate in control, they make a remote control and display unit so that you can have the temperature reading and adjustment at your fingertips on your dashboard.

That’s pretty cool.

See what I did there?

Yes, the Chillout Systems Quantum Cooler might be way, way more expensive than comparable personal coolers. Yes, it might take a little more hardcore wiring and plumbing to get installed. But, think about it this way: how many bags of ice are you going to buy before you’ve paid for the difference? How many times do you not have to dump a tepid cooler full of water out of your race car? How many spills do you get to avoid? How many sessions will you sit on the track during a red flag with your perfectly chilled shirt at exactly the temperature you want waiting for the black flag to go in, instead of slowly feeling your suit water get warmer, and warmer, and warmer…

For me, it’s worth saving up a little longer to buy the Quantum Cooler, because it’s so much less to deal with at the track. Save the ice for the actual cooler, you know, for like beverages and salsa and apples and bananas.

Who doesn’t like a nice cold piece of fruit and an electrolyte drink after they get off the track?

No, seriously, a cold banana is awesome, and it has lots of phosphorous which helps with muscle cramps and…

Chillout Systems

Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies


1 comment

  1. That’s cool, but not $2500 cool. Damn! The collective sum of all my winter upgrades will come in comfortably south of that. Hopefully the price comes down as the tech matures.

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