A novel personal cooling system (PCS) incorporated with phase change materials (PCMs) and ventilation fans: An investigation on its cooling efficiency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Personal cooling systems (PCS) have been developed to mitigate the impact of severe heat stress for humans working in hot environments. It is still a great challenge to develop PCSs that are portable, inexpensive, and effective. We studied the performance of a new hybrid PCS incorporating both ventilation fans and phase change materials (PCMs). The cooling efficiency of the newly developed PCS was investigated on a sweating manikin in two hot conditions: hot humid (HH, 34 °C, 75% RH) and hot dry (HD, 34 °C, 28% RH). Four test scenarios were selected: fans off with no PCMs (i.e., Fan-off, the CONTROL), fans on with no PCMs (i.e., Fan-on), fans off with fully solidified PCMs (i.e., PCM+Fan-off), and fans on with fully solidified PCMs (i.e., PCM+Fan-on). It was found that the addition of PCMs provided a 54∼78 min cooling in HH condition. In contrast, the PCMs only offered a 19–39 min cooling in HD condition. In both conditions, the ventilation fans greatly enhanced the evaporative heat loss compared with Fan-off. The hybrid PCS (i.e., PCM+Fan-on) provided a continuous cooling effect during the three-hour test and the average cooling rate for the whole body was around 111 and 315 W in HH and HD conditions, respectively. Overall, the new hybrid PCS may be an effective means of ameliorating symptoms of heat stress in both hot-humid and hot-dry environments.

Details

Authors
  • Yehu Lu
  • Fanru Wei
  • Dandan Lai
  • Wen Shi
  • Faming Wang
  • Chuansi Gao
  • Guowen Song
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
  • Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials

Keywords

  • Ventilation fans, Phase change material, Cooling efficiency, Personal cooling system
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-146
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Volume52
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes