Effects of Air Velocity and Clothing Combination on Heating Efficiency of an Electrically Heated Vest (EHV): A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Cold endangers the heat balance of the human body. Protective clothing is the natural and most common equipment against cold stress. However, clothing for cold protection may be bulky and heavy, affecting human performance and increasing the work load. In such cases, a heated garment with built-in heating elements may be helpful. This pilot study presents a method based on a thermal manikin to investigate the effects of air velocity and clothing combination on the heating efficiency of an electrically heated vest (EHV). An infrared thermal camera was used to detect surface temperature distributions of the EHV on the front and back. Results show that the heating efficiency of the EHV decreases with increasing air velocity. Changes in EHV sequence in the three-layer clothing combination also significantly affect the heating efficiency: it increases with the increasing number of layers on top of the EHV. The highest mean temperature on the inner surface of the EHV was 40.2°C, which indicates that it is safe for the wearers. For the EHV to heat the human body effectively, we suggest that it be worn as a middle layer. Finally, the EHV is especially suitable for occupational groups whose metabolic rate is below 1.9 Mets.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Keywords

  • infrared thermography, heating efficiency, electrically heated vest (EHV), cold environment, air velocity, clothing combination
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-505
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes