Updated May 13th 2014:
I have been working on a review for a new and exciting product called the Kulcar, a solar car cooler. I have been extensively testing it out to make sure it does what it says it does, and there was definitely a noticeable temperature difference.
First I should probably tell you exactly what the Kulcar is. It is a solar cooler, meaning it is powered by the sun, on an adjustable solar panel that sits outside of your window. The solar panel powers two turbo fans that are pretty impressive for how quiet they are.
My wonderful husband, Travis, helped me do some research on the topic of parked car temperatures and we found an interesting study done by Stanford which showed that after 60 minutes, with or without the car windows opened to 1.5 inches, vehicles in an outside temperature between 72 and 96 degrees F have a temperature increase of around 40 degrees F. With that in mind we decided to test out if the Kulcar solar car cooler did, in fact, cool cars.
Obviously you can’t leave a parked car out in the sun and expect there not to be any temperature increase. But would the Kulcar keep the car at a lower temperature than the normal temp. increase of 40 degrees? And would that make a noticeable difference?
We tested the Kulcar in our vehicle in two different locations with an internal oven thermometer, and we found that in each situation, the temperature inside of the car was 10 degrees cooler than it should have been according to the Stanford study results. But I wanted to know if that would effect how the car felt inside. Naturally I used my instant read thermometer to test the car seats out, because science is fun! I found that in both cases, the surface temperature of the car seats was at least five degrees cooler after using the Kulcar.
I also did the touch test, and in both cases when I used the Kulcar, the carseats were warm, but not hot. My kids were able to get right into them without having to air out the car first. I can totally see how one of these car coolers would be valuable if you use it in the back seat to keep the carseats at a more comfortable temperature. I know that there are covers you can purchase to put over individual car seats, but I have three kids and three seats. This is too much of a chore, especially if I am going out with all three kids by myself! There are also sunshades you can install over the car seats, but they are expensive and obstruct your child’s view. The Kulcar seems like a much more reasonable solution for me.
I also love how secure the Kulcar is once it is installed. The plastic arms that come in the installation kit are really sturdy and there is really not an easy way that anyone could tamper with your window. Plus, the installation is easy. I was able to do everything by myself, and I have a history of being mechanically challenged, so that says a lot!
You need to make sure you park parallel to the sun’s path if possible, because the longer the sun is shining on the Kulcar, the longer it will be on. It only works if the sun is hitting all of the cells on the small solar panel.
Overall, I think this is a very interesting product, and I am excited to own one. Now I’m sure you are thinking, where can I get one? Well Sonray, the company that created the Kulcar, is going to give one away to one lucky reader, anywhere in the world! That’s right, this give away is open to all of my international readers as well as my North American readers. The only condition is that you write a short comment about their product on Newegg after you use it. To purchase this product for your family follow this link. For additional information on this product you can also check out the Kulcar Facebook page here and the Sonray page here.
Look out for the post on the giveaway coming up in a day or so, and feel free to leave any comments if you have any questions.
Disclosure: This review is my true and sincere opinion of this product. I received a Kulcar for review purposes.