Thermal comfort chamber study of Nordic elderly people with local cooling devices in warm conditions

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2023-05-01
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
15
Series
Building and Environment, Volume 235
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the thermal response of Nordic elderly people before and after using local cooling devices in warm conditions. A climate chamber was used to simulate warm environments. We studied three types of local cooling devices: a table fan, an evaporative cooling device, and an air-cooled jacket. A total of 26 elderly participants were recruited for this study. During the experiments, votes of thermal and air movement perception were collected. The elderly voted for a neutral temperature of 26 °C, preferred temperature of 26.5 °C, and an acceptable temperature of 28 °C. Local thermal sensation in the torso areas of the elderly affected their overall thermal sensation more than local thermal sensation in the extremities under warm conditions. When the ambient temperature was risen to 1 °C and 4 °C higher than 26 °C, the behavior pattern of using local cooling devices for the elderly was: 1) with the small rise the use rate reached 50% with the lower speed modes mainly chosen; and 2) the higher rise caused more people to choose higher speed modes. Our findings show that the three local cooling devices can increase thermal acceptability under warm conditions. More than 80% of elderly accepted the 28 °C thermal environment, and less than 80% accepted 32 °C. The acceptance rate for air movement after using devices was decreased and less than 80% in most conditions. Moreover, all devices performed better under low-humidity conditions.
Description
Funding Information: This study was approved and supported by the Aalto University Research Ethics Committee (D/793/April 03, 2021, approved on Sep 23rd, 2021). Participants were required to be free of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's, kidney disease, or previous paralysis or heart attack. Furthermore, participants with age-related memory impairments were excluded because it was difficult for them to comprehend the study. Finally, 26 native elderly Finnish individuals were recruited. The anthropometric data of the participants are presented in Table 2.This study is part of the following projects: HEATCLIM (Heat and health in the changing climate, Grant Numbers. 329306, 329307) funded by the Academy of Finland within the CLIHE (Climate change and health) program, and the author Minzhou Chen would like to thank financial support from the China Scholarship Council.The authors declare the following financial interests/personal relationships which may be considered as potential competing interests: Risto Kosonen reports financial support was provided by Academy of Finland. MInzhou Chen reports financial support was provided by China Scholarship Council. Funding Information: This study is part of the following projects: HEATCLIM (Heat and health in the changing climate , Grant Numbers. 329306 , 329307 ) funded by the Academy of Finland within the CLIHE (Climate change and health) program, and the author Minzhou Chen would like to thank financial support from the China Scholarship Council . Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors
Keywords
Climate chamber, Elderly people, Local cooling devices, Thermal comfort, Warm environment
Other note
Citation
Chen, M, Farahani, A V, Kilpeläinen, S, Kosonen, R, Younes, J, Ghaddar, N, Ghali, K & Melikov, A K 2023, ' Thermal comfort chamber study of Nordic elderly people with local cooling devices in warm conditions ', Building and Environment, vol. 235, 110213 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2023.110213