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Science/Medicine : Electric Blanket for Summer--This One Keeps a Body Cool

December 14, 1987|EDWARD E. DUENSING | Duensing is a New Jersey free-lance writer. and

It isn't always easy to get a good night's sleep, especially during those warm nights when all you can do is toss, turn, fidget and wonder if you can afford to turn on the air conditioner.

But such uncomfortable nights may become a thing of the past, thanks to George J. Greene Jr., of Larue, Tex.

The 53-year-old mechanical engineer recently received a patent for an invention he calls the Cooling Cover. It is basically the summer equivalent of the electric blanket.

He explains: "You really need air conditioning the most at night. But since you are staying in one place, you don't need to cool down the entire room."

Forces Air Into Mat

The Cooling Cover is a small refrigeration and blower unit, about the size of a two-gallon gas can, that is joined by a tube to an inflatable plastic mat.

The blower forces cool air through the tube and into the mat, where it escapes through numerous tiny holes. These miniature jets of air are then diffused by a cotton sheet that fits around the mat and rests over the sleeper.

"The escaping air is moving, cool and dry. It will make the temperature beneath the blanket about 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the bedroom," Greene said.

As for the cost of operating the cover, Greene says, "It is about the same as leaving a 100-watt light bulb on all night."

Greene has built a prototype and is now looking for a manufacturer.

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