Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-36-0043
2009-10-06

USER'S PERCEPTION OF THERMAL COMFORT IN VENTILATED AUTOMOTIVE SEATS 2009-36-0043

With passing the years users of automotive vehicles began to be more and more demanding in relation to the comfort in their vehicles. One of the main factors is that in great urban centers many people pass hours in their vehicles, due to the intense traffic in roads and highways and to the amount of vehicles circulating through the cities. The seats have an extremely important contribution in the comfort level in an automotive vehicle. The body surfaces in contact with the seat try a completely different thermal behavior than the body surfaces exposed to the environment. To improve comfort conditions it is necessary to provide better heat change conditions of the human body with the seat; what can be gotten with the use of cold or heat ventilated seats, depending on the climatic conditions. In the present work was accomplished a study of the influence of an automotive ventilated seat, with Peltier cooling effect, in the perception of the user's thermal comfort. Tests were performed with the use of a normal production seat and of a ventilated seat in a vehicle equipped with an air conditioning system. The tests were carried out in wind tunnel and the experimental procedure consisted of measurements of temperatures and subjective evaluations (questionnaire). The test volunteers' evaluation showed that the use of this kind of system resulted in perceptible improvement in the thermal comfort conditions, with significant improvement in the change of heat between the user and the vehicle seat, which was proven with the temperature measurements presenting decrease of 3 °C in the ventilated seat.

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