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Multi-loop control of liquid cooling garment systems

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In this study the effects of multi-loop control of liquid cooling garments (LCGs) under exercise heat stress conditions were investigated by experiments and theoretical analysis. A triple-loop LCG, by which the torso, arms and legs could be independently cooled, was used in the two series of experiments carried out in a hot environment (35 C/40% RH). The experiment consisted of rest, exercise on an ergometer at 70 W and exercise at 110 W. In the first experiment, each water inlet temperature (T) was adjusted according to the local thermal sensation. In WI the second experiment, T for the torso including arms and T for the legs were WI WI regulated by a skin temperature controller with set-point adjustment via heart rate. The experiments showed that a multi-loop LCG is more effective than a single-loop LCG in providing thermal sensation and comfort adjusted to the requirements of the different parts of the body, and that a skin temperature controller could be applied to a multi-loop system. The theoretical analysis was carried out using a mathematical model of thermoregulation. The results showed that a strong cooling of the surface over the working muscles (legs) provided the greatest thermoregulatory advantage during low body exercise, because most of the heat generated within the working muscles can be removed directly by heat conduction to the skin. Optimization of a human/LCG system could be attained by an optimal configuration and control. However, an optimal configuration always depends on the application purpose of an LCG system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1999

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