Cabin Cool offers first air conditioning system for open-cab construction equipment
By Jenny LescohierMay 23, 2023
Spending all day outside in the intense heat of summer can really take its toll on construction workers, particularly when operating equipment without a climate-controlled cab. Fortunately, there’s a new solution aimed at helping workers keep their cool on the job.
Cabin Cool, a startup company based out of Rockville, Maryland with the vision of providing air conditioning where there was none before, is introducing the M100, the first air conditioning system designed to allow a heavy equipment operator to work in comfort in an open-cab environment.
The M100 direct-cooling system helps to reduce employee fatigue and turnover, improving worker productivity in an increasingly hot and uncomfortable world. Weighing only 50 lbs., the self-contained, compact unit is 24 in. long, 11.5 in. wide and has a height of 8 in.
Its low power requirements and operator-controlled settings make it an ideal solution to improve worker comfort and safety in hot environments. The product can be used indoors or outdoors, and is rugged enough for any job, withstanding dusty, dirty, demanding environments in all sorts of weather conditions.
“As long as the heavy equipment has an electrical system and a place to mount the product, you can use it,” said Todd Stave, CEO, Cabin Cool. “Cool air blowing on the worker, and under that worker’s control, provides instant relief in a hot environment. It is a very effective, affordable product and ideal for the wide variety of open cabs in the heavy equipment industry.”
The M100 A/C system is designed to be easy to install, run and repair, so it’s ideal for the heavy equipment industry including material handling, aerial platforms, paving, earthmoving and excavation, agriculture and landscaping and general construction. Originally conceived at the University of Maryland and funded by the Department of Energy, Cabin Cool’s guiding principle is the idea that it takes a lot less energy to cool a person than it does the space they occupy.
Although the M100 uses 10% of the power of a typical window air conditioner, it provides enough power to comfort workers in the most extreme conditions. The M100’s small electric heat pump with a powerful fan will cool the air around the equipment by 25 degrees F. In other words, on a 100 F degree day, the unit will make 75 F degree air.
The system provides up to 600W of cooling power, even though it consumes less than 275W of electric power. The cooled air is blown at relatively high pressure, and
the operator is able to control the power, temperature, fan speed and where the air is directed.
Initially created for open cab environments, Cabin Cool has also received interest from customers with closed cab environments as well. The product works on both new and retrofitted equipment and supports both gas and electric equipment.
“Cabin Cool units are very reasonably priced, fully self-contained, easily installed and make the equipment operator’s job much more comfortable, leading to a safer and more productive foundry employee,” said Ted Springer, president of Springer Equipment, a forklift and material handling dealership in the Southeastern United States.
According to the Lancet Countdown, a global academic collaboration monitoring the health impacts of climate change, the global heat season is beginning earlier, ending longer, and becoming more intolerable. They estimate that in a rising trend since at least 1990, 295 billion hours of potential work were lost across the globe in 2020 due to heat exposure - i.e., the equivalent of 88 work hours per employed person.
“People all over the world work in miserable conditions, and it’s only going to get worse,” said Stave. “There is a big dichotomy between the available infrastructure to support air conditioning and where it will ultimately be demanded. Our solution is a simple way to provide instant relief to individuals in hot environments, and to make those environments a bit more tolerable.”