On the basis of modelling and laboratory studies on the effects of room climate on the skin, an ambient intelligence (AmI) platform concept was developed, which is intended to reduce skin dehydration in winter-dry room air with intelligent room climate control. Under this approach, the climate in a room is assessed using coupled building, system, and air flow simulations. The data required for this purpose were gathered by means of participant experiments.
Intelligent room climate control makes it possible to estimate the effects climatic parameters of a room will have on individuals. In addition, it shows possibilities for setting optimised comfortable room climate conditions with regard to temperature and humidity.
A thermoregulatory model that contains individuals’ responses (skin dehydration, thermal sensation) to room climate parameters (temperature, humidity, air velocity, degree of air turbulence) is integrated into the coupled simulations. Depending on the type of heating and air supply systems, different flow conditions occur in the immediate surroundings of people in a room. These conditions may exacerbate skin dehydration, for example by mixed ventilation with rapid, turbulent air flow, or may moderate it, for example by displacement ventilation with a slow, steady air flow.
Typical constellations of conditions during the winter heating period were measured in participant experiments (n = 66). The type of ventilation used has clear impact on skin dehydration and perception of the climate. Air velocity exerts a more pronounced influence on dehydration and the subjective perception and evaluation of room climate than changes in relative humidity.
The results fed into a practical guidance document, which sets out advice on improvements to room ventilation (e.g. purge ventilation instead of continuous ventilation) and action employees can take (e.g. drinking plenty of water, skincare) that will help to mitigate the negative impacts of room climates during the winter heating period.
Unit 2.4 "Workplaces, Safety of Machinery, Operational Safety"
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