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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A study of occupant cooling by personally controlled air movement


This study addresses the effectiveness of air movement cooling, an alternative to compressor-based cooling of the air itself. Subjects in an environmental chamber were exposed to a range of warm temperatures and allowed to adjust air movement to suit their individual preferences, while answering a series of questions about their comfort. Air movement was from the subject's side, in two modes of turbulent flow. The air speeds chosen by the subjects, and their subjective responses, are evaluated in the context of existing comfort standards and prediction techniques. Choosing air speeds up to 1.4 m/s, over 80% of subjects at 1.2 met were comfortable up to 29°, and at 1.0 met up to 31°C. The cooling effectiveness was significantly affected by the nature of the turbulence. A zone is proposed within personally controlled air movement provides a likely alternative to mechanical air conditioning.

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