Low-energy On-demand Personal Cooling System


Conventional HVAC cooling systems are very energy intensive. In addition most systems do not offer individual control over cooling. Desk fans are one answer to these problems but normal desk fans produce a turbulent airstream that is noisy and disruptive to office work. To address these limitations Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a personalized cooling system that allows for high comfort levels while maintaining high energy efficiency. The system is based on extensive field studies in office buildings and climate chamber testing of human subjects. Comfort: occupants prefer having individual control over their cooling with personalized air movement raising thermal satisfaction levels in high quality buildings from the typical value of 80% to near 100%. Air movement significantly improves occupants\' perceived air quality. Extensive field studies have shown that in neutral as well a warm conditions occupants prefer air movement above that of typical indoor still air. Energy efficiency: air movement to a person\'s breathing zone and hands is a highly efficient way to cool humans (1 m/s (2.2 mph) airstream corresponds to a reduction in temperature of 2 degrees C(4 degrees F)). Simulations of office buildings using such a system throughout the building shows a savings of over 40% of HVAC cooling energy in many climates.


1) Personally controlled air jets can produce comfort in warm ambient temperatures using a small fraction of the power that would be needed to air condition the ambient temperature to the same comfort level. 2) Personally controlled air jets may also improve air quality in the occupants\' breathing zone by disrupting the body\'s thermal plume near the upper body and headFilter (particle and/or activated charcoal) may be applied upstream of fan to improve air quality.

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