A heated/cooled chair was evaluated for its effect on thermal sensation and comfort. Thirty college students participated in 150 1.75-h tests. Two heated/cooled chairs were placed in an environmental chamber resembling an office environment. The chamber temperatures were set at 16°C, 18°C, 25°C, and 29°C (60.8°F, 64.4°F, 77°F, 84.2°F). During the tests, subjects had full control of the chair surface temperature through a knob located on the desk. An additional 64 tests with 16 subjects were conducted at the same 4 temperatures but with regular mesh or cushion chairs in order to provide reference results for comparison. Subjective responses about thermal sensation, comfort, and temperature satisfaction were obtained at 20-min intervals and eight times before, during, and after a break period. The chair's energy consumption was monitored continuously. The results show that the heated/cooled chair strongly influences the subjects thermal sensation and comfort, providing thermal comfort under all tested conditions, both warm and cool. The average power draw is 27 W at 16°C (60.8°F), and 45.5 W at 29°C (84.2°F) ambient conditions. Copyright © 2013 Crown copyright.
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