Octanis 1: PU foam insulation. Preliminary results.

Posted by Sam on August 28, 2014.

Octanis' body will be relatively large (30x30x15cm) but it's "brains" - the main computer and electronics - will be very small in comparison. This leaves a lot of empty space for insulating the electronics as much as possible. Having little energy to spare, heating is not something we can afford to do all the time.

The task was to find the best possible insulation for the project that is also easy to find and cheap to buy. The choice: PU foam, also known as expanding foam that comes in cans. PUs thermals conductivity is one of the lowest coming in just after aerogel with 0.02 W/mK.

We have conducted a heater test to see how much time our 5W heater requires to heat the internal box which insulated by the PU foam. A picture of our foam monster below.
2014-08-27 18.52.20

The resulting temperature curve is delighting. Three hours or 15Wh are required to raise the temperature by 20°C and in over 15 hours the internals have only lost around 5°C.
Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 14.29.53
X: seconds, Y: °C