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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comfort under personally controlled air movement in warm and humid environments

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license

This study examined the effects of personally controlled air movement on human thermal comfort and perceived air quality (PAQ) in warm-humid environments. At temperatures 26, 28, and 30°C, and relative humidity (RH) 60% and 80%, sixteen human subjects were exposed to personally controlled air movement provided by floor fans in an environmental chamber. The subjects reported their thermal sensation, thermal comfort, and PAQ during the tests. Two breaks periods with elevated metabolic levels were used to simulate normal office activities. Results show that with personally controlled air movement, thermal comfort could be maintained up to 30°C and 60% RH, and acceptable PAQ could be maintained up to 30°C 80% RH, without discomfort from humidity, air movement or eye-dryness. Thermal comfort and PAQ were resumed within 5 minutes after the breaks. The 80% acceptable limit implicit in comfort standards could be extended to 30°C and 60% RH. The average energy consumed by the fans for maintaining comfort was lower than 10W per person, making air movement a very energy-efficient way to deliver comfort in warm-humid environments.

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