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Start-Up Keeps Workers Safer, More Productive in Summer Heat
Originally developed to cool soldiers in body armor, the IcePlate® jumps from “tactical to practical,” increasing worker productivity and company profits
McLean, VA /Qore Performance®/ -- US Army contractors scouring Kickstarter issued a daunting challenge to a new DC area company: cool soldiers in full body armor with 140 watts of cooling power without adding any weight. Roughly two years later, after their challenge had been met by a Northern Virginia start-up, the resulting innovation would be cooling a wide range of people from fast food drive thrus to oil & gas to first responders across more than a dozen countries.
The brainchild of a former law enforcement officer Justin Li, the IcePlate® by Qore Performance® has quickly invented a new sub-category of cooling/hydrating PPE or Personal Protective Equipment. IcePlate® is now used by tens of thousands of people, including over 300 Chick-fil-A and Dutch Bros Coffee stores nationwide. IcePlate® solves an incredibly difficult problem with a shockingly simple secret weapon: drinking water.
“I knew that 100 fl oz. CamelBak’s were already (military) standard issue and that drinking water acts as a battery when it moves from one state to another (absorbing or discharging energy as it freezes, melts or evaporates). My business partner J.D. Willcox then figured out that 100 fl oz. of water holds a little over 140 watts of energy over 2+ hours when frozen. By using existing water volume as the battery, leveraging existing behavior (freezing bottled water) then rethinking the shape of the container, we knew we could get the cooling power we needed without adding a single new ounce of weight to the warfighter kit,” says Li, “problem solved.”
The result? A 50 fl oz. wearable water bottle designed to be frozen. As the ice melts, it produces cold drinking water allowing users to literally “drink their cooling” and get lighter as the shift progresses.
Chick-fil-A Arizona and Dutch Bros Coffee operators are leading a PPE revolution with the Qore Performance® team as they continue to drive innovation by combining multiple functions into single pieces of kit to keep workers safer and more productive. Working with North Carolina-based tactical medicine trainer SOARescue, Qore Performance® developed the HiVis StayFrosty® Vest for Chick-fil-A and Dutch Bros Coffee. The HiVis StayFrosty® Vest helps to prevent heat injuries and fatalities like the one that occurred this week in Southern California when a US Postal Service letter carrier died on the job. The family suspects heat injury is the cause of death.
“We started this company to help people, to empower them with environmental protection tools. Every time we see a heat injury or fatality, our hearts break. It hurts because we know we can help. It takes me back to being a cop even though I’m not wearing a uniform anymore,” says Li.” For more information on Qore Performance® and their innovative approach to PPE, visit www.QorePerformance.com.