How Did We Create Outdoor Heated Seats?
A customer who was building a 200-seat outdoor theater in Canada wanted to have heated seats to account for the city’s low temperatures of 20°F / -7°C. After the customer had defined the seats, we performed all of the thermal and mechanical engineering analysis to arrive at a flex heater solution. The resulting heaters could be retro-fitted into existing seats, giving two temperature setting options for optimal comfort even on cold days.
Due to the rugged outdoor environment from extreme cold to hot sun, the customer had decided to utilize an outdoor grade, plastic molded seat designed for punishing weather. This seat had a cavity under the base that permitted an attachment of a flexible heater to the slightly curved underside surface. The customer desired to have two levels of heating (plus OFF) that could be individually controlled by the user. Due to safety reasons, the heater was to operate at low voltage.
Through experience and experimentation, we determined that the desired temp setting of the seat in the outdoor environment would be approximately 90F for user comfort. The low heat setting would be about 20 degrees less.
Therefore we designed the heater to deliver approximately 70 degrees of thermal rise.
Due to cost constraints and the need for two temperature levels, the option of having single-seat temp sensing and control was not available. Therefore peak temperatures reached in high/low settings of each seat would be controlled and accomplished through input power management by the customer. Depending upon the outdoor temperature, the customer would adjust the voltage up/down slightly with a variable power system, typically adjusting between 22 and 24 volts.
Interested in learning more about heated seats? Give us a call.