Effectiveness of personal comfort systems on whole-body thermal comfort-A systematic review on which body segments to target

W. Luo*, R. Kramer, Y. de Kort, W. D. van Marken Lichtenbelt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

Abstract

Personal comfort systems (PCS) promise individualized thermal comfort, energy-savings and may even contribute to health by locally heating/cooling specific body segments. To date, however, insights into PCSs' specific design guidelines or their effectiveness on whole-body thermal comfort are scarce. The fundamental question on which body segments should be targeted has not yet been answered. This paper attempts to answer this question by systematically reviewing studies on PCSs' effects on local body segments and the whole body restricted to office scenarios. The results imply that the local thermal discomfort distribution over the body determines the PCSs' effectiveness and that PCSs should eliminate local thermal discomfort by targeting it directly or indirectly. In a typical office scenario, local cooling may affect thermal perception in non-targeted body segments, however local heating may not. Therefore, PCSs could heat uncomfortable body segments directly in cold environments while indirect cooling may also effectively relieve discomfort in warm environments. Moreover, moderate local conditioning does not affect skin temperatures in most non-targeted body segments. The findings suggest that human thermoregulation may be stimulated, and hence, benefit our health, without compromising thermal comfort. Directions for future PCS design are proposed to bridge thermal comfort, energy-efficiency and health in offices. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Original languageEnglish
Article number111766
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume256
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Personal comfort system
  • Local heating
  • Local cooling
  • Thermal comfort
  • Health
  • Energy efficiency
  • ENVIRONMENTS SPATIAL ALLIESTHESIA
  • SKIN TEMPERATURE
  • PUTATIVE CONTRIBUTORS
  • ENERGY-CONSUMPTION
  • COLD SENSITIVITY
  • CHAIR
  • SENSATION
  • WARM
  • REST
  • PERCEPTION

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