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Technical Paper

Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model, to Evaluate Liquid Cooling Garments

An Advanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM), is used to evaluate liquid cooling garments (LCG) for advanced space suits for extravehicular applications and launch and entry suits. The manikin is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermoregulatory system. ADAM's thermal response to a baseline LCG was measured.The local effectiveness of the LCG was determined. These new thermal comfort tools permit detailed, repeatable measurements and evaluation of LCGs. Results can extend to other personal protective clothing including HAZMAT suits, nuclear/biological/ chemical protective suits, fire protection suits, etc.
Technical Paper

The Advanced Design of a Liquid Cooling Garment Through Long-Term Research: Implications of the Test Results on Three Different Garments

The most recent goal of our research program was to identify the optimal features of each of three garments to maintain core temperature and comfort under intensive physical exertion. Four males and 2 females between the ages of 22 and 46 participated in this study. The garments evaluated were the MACS-Delphi, Russian Orlan, and NASA LCVG. Subjects were tested on different days in 2 different environmental chamber temperature/humidity conditions (24°C/H∼28%; 35°C/H∼20%). Each session consisted of stages of treadmill walking/running (250W to 700W at different stages) and rest. In general, the findings showed few consistent differences among the garments. The MACS-Delphi was better able to maintain subjects within a skin and core temperature comfort zone than was evident in the other garments as indicated by a lesser fluctuation in temperatures across physical exertion levels.
Technical Paper

Subjective Perception of Thermal and Physical Comfort in Three Liquid Cooling Garments

The subjective aspects of comfort in three different cooling garments, the MACS-Delphi, Russian Orlan, and LCVG were evaluated. Six subjects (4 males and 2 females) were tested in separate sessions in each garment and in one of two environmental chamber conditions: 24°C and 35°C. Subjects followed a staged exercise/rest protocol with different levels of physical exertion at different stages. Thermal comfort and heat perception were assessed by ratings on visual analog scales. Ratings of physical comfort of the garment and also garment flexibility in positions simulating movements during planetary exploration were also obtained. The findings indicated that both overall thermal comfort and head thermal comfort were rated highest in the MACS-Delphi at 24°C. The Orlan was rated lowest on physical comfort and less flexible in different body positions.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of Space Suit Thermal Control

Automatic thermal comfort control for the minimum consumables PLSS is undertaken using several control approaches. Accuracy and performance of the strategies using feedforward, feedback, and gain scheduling are evaluated through simulation, highlighting their advantages and limitations. Implementation issues, consumable usage, and the provision for the extension of these control strategies to the cryogenic PLSS are addressed.
Technical Paper

Simulating Physiological Response with a Passive Sensor Manikin and an Adaptive Thermal Manikin to Predict Thermal Sensation and Comfort

Reliable assessment of occupant thermal comfort can be difficult to obtain within automotive environments, especially under transient and asymmetric heating and cooling scenarios. Evaluation of HVAC system performance in terms of comfort commonly requires human subject testing, which may involve multiple repetitions, as well as multiple test subjects. Instrumentation (typically comprised of an array of temperature sensors) is usually only sparsely applied across the human body, significantly reducing the spatial resolution of available test data. Further, since comfort is highly subjective in nature, a single test protocol can yield a wide variation in results which can only be overcome by increasing the number of test replications and subjects. In light of these difficulties, various types of manikins are finding use in automotive testing scenarios.
Technical Paper

Range Extension Opportunities While Heating a Battery Electric Vehicle

The Kia Soul battery electric vehicle (BEV) is available with either a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater or an R134a heat pump (HP) with PTC heater combination [1]. The HP uses both ambient air and waste heat from the motor, inverter, and on-board-charger (OBC) for its heat source. Hanon Systems, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory jointly, with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, developed and proved-out technologies that extend the driving range of a Kia Soul BEV while maintaining thermal comfort in cold climates. Improved system configuration concepts that use thermal storage and waste heat more effectively were developed and evaluated. Range extensions of 5%-22% at ambient temperatures ranging from 5 °C to −18 °C were demonstrated. This paper reviews the three-year effort, including test data of the baseline and modified vehicles, resulting range extension, and recommendations for future actions.
Technical Paper

Predicting Human Thermal Comfort in Automobiles

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a suite of thermal comfort tools to help develop smaller and more efficient climate control systems in automobiles. The tools consist of a thermal comfort manikin, physiological model, and psychological model that are linked together to assess comfort in a transient non-homogeneous environment. The manikin, which consists of 120 individually controlled zones, mimics the human body by heating, sweating, and breathing. The physiological model is a 40,000-node numerical simulation of the human body. The model receives heat loss data from the manikin and predicts the human physiological response and skin temperatures. Based on human subject test data, the psychological model takes the temperatures of the human and predicts thermal sensation and comfort.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Human Thermal Comfort

Current vehicle climate control systems are dramatically overpowered because they are designed to condition the cabin air mass in a specified period of time. A more effective and energy efficient objective is to directly achieve thermal comfort of the passengers. NREL is developing numerical and experimental tools to predict human thermal comfort in non-uniform transient thermal environments. These tools include a finite element model of human thermal physiology, a psychological model that predicts both local and global thermal comfort, and a high spatial resolution sweating thermal manikin for testing in actual vehicles.
Technical Paper

Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project, Phase II: Human Factors and Crew Interactions

Phase II of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project was conducted in June and July of 1996 at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The primary objective for Phase II was to develop and test an integrated human life support system capable of sustaining a crew of four for 30 days in a closed chamber. The crew was continuously present inside a chamber throughout the 30-day test. The objective of this paper is to describe crew interactions and human factors for the test. Crew preparations for the test included training and familiarization of chamber systems and accommodations, and medical and psychological evaluations. During the test, crew members provided metabolic loads for the life support systems, performed maintenance on chamber systems, and evaluated human factors inside the chamber. Overall, the four crew members found the chamber to be comfortable for the 30-day test.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Waste Collector Subsystem Risk Mitigation Experiment Design Improvements

The International Space Station Waste Collector Subsystem Risk Mitigation Experiment (ISS WCS RME) was flown as the primary (Shuttle) WCS on Space Shuttle flight STS-104 (ISS-7A) in July 2001, to validate new design enhancements. In general, the WCS is utilized for collecting, storing, and compacting fecal & associated personal hygiene waste, in a zero gravity environment. In addition, the WCS collects and transfers urine to the Shuttle waste storage tank. All functions are executed while controlling odors and providing crew comfort. The ISS WCS previously flew on three Shuttle flights as the Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) WCS, as it was originally designed to support extended duration Space Shuttle flights up to 30 days in length. Soon after its third flight, the Space Shuttle Program decided to no longer require 30 day extended mission duration capability and provided the EDO WCS to the ISS Program.
Technical Paper

Human Thermal Comfort Model and Manikin

Current vehicle climate control systems are dramatically overpowered because they are designed to condition the cabin air mass in a specified period of time. A more effective and energy efficient objective is to directly achieve thermal comfort of the passengers. NREL is developing numerical and experimental tools to predict human thermal comfort in non-uniform transient thermal environments. These tools include a finite element model of human thermal physiology, a psychological model that predicts both local and global thermal comfort, and a high spatial resolution sweating thermal manikin for testing in actual vehicles.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Advanced Automotive Seats to Improve Thermal Comfort and Fuel Economy

Automotive ancillary loads have a significant impact on the fuel economy of both conventional and advanced vehicles. Improving the delivery methods for conditioned air is an effective way to increase thermal comfort at little energy cost, resulting in reduced air-conditioning needs and fuel use. Automotive seats are well suited for effective delivery of conditioned air due to their large contact area with and close proximity to the occupants. Normally a seat acts as a thermal insulator, increasing skin temperatures and reducing evaporative cooling of sweat. Ventilating a seat has low energy costs and eliminates this insulating effect while increasing evaporative cooling. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has applied a combination of experimental testing and modeling to quantify improved thermal comfort and potential fuel savings by using a ventilated seat.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Modeling of the Minimum Consumables PLSS

A transient model of the Minimum Consumables Portable Life Support System (MPLSS) Advanced Space Suit design has been developed and implemented using MAT-LAB/Simulink. The purpose of the model is to help with sizing and evaluation of the MPLSS design and aid development of an automatic thermal comfort control strategy. The MPLSS model is described, a basic thermal comfort control strategy implemented, and the thermal characteristics of the MPLSS Advanced Space Suit are investigated.
Journal Article

Climate Control Load Reduction Strategies for Electric Drive Vehicles in Cold Weather

When operated, the cabin climate control system is the largest auxiliary load on a vehicle. This load has significant impact on fuel economy for conventional and hybrid vehicles, and it drastically reduces the driving range of all-electric vehicles (EVs). Heating is even more detrimental to EV range than cooling because no engine waste heat is available. Reducing the thermal loads on the vehicle climate control system will extend driving range and increase the market penetration of EVs. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have evaluated strategies for vehicle climate control load reduction with special attention toward grid-connected electric vehicles. Outdoor vehicle thermal testing and computational modeling were used to assess potential strategies for improved thermal management and to evaluate the effectiveness of thermal load reduction technologies. A human physiology model was also used to evaluate the impact on occupant thermal comfort.
Technical Paper

Automatic Thermal Control Through a LCVG for a Spacesuit

Automatic thermal control (ATC) was investigated for implementation into a spacesuit to provide thermal neutrality to the astronaut through a range of activity levels. Two different control concepts were evaluated and compared for their ability to maintain subject thermal comfort. Six test subjects, who were involved in a series of three tests, walked on a treadmill following specific metabolic profiles while wearing the Mark III spacesuit in ambient environmental conditions. Results show that individual subject comfort was effectively provided by both algorithms over a broad range of metabolic activity. ATC appears to be highly effective in providing efficient, “hands-off” thermal regulation requiring minimal instrumentation. Final selection of an algorithm to be implemented in an advanced spacesuit system will require testing in dynamic thermal environments and consideration of technology for advancement in instrumentation and controller performance.