Previous studies have demonstrated that in summertime increased air velocities can compensate for higher room temperatures to achieve comfortable conditions. In order to increase air movement, windows opening, ceiling or desk fans can be used at the expense of relatively low energy consumption. The present climatic chamber study examined energy performance and achievable thermal comfort of traditional and bladeless desk fans. Different effects of mechanical and simulated-natural airflow patterns were also investigated. 32 Scandinavians, performing office activities and wearing light clothes , were exposed to a increased air movement generated by a personal desk fan. The subjects could continuously regulate the fans under three fixed environmental conditions (operative temperatures equal to 26 °C, 28 °C, or 30 °C, and same absolute humidity 12.2 g/m3). The experimental study showed that increased air velocity under personal control make the indoor environment acceptable at higher air temperatures. This will during summer season and in warmer countries improve thermal comfort without too high energy costs. There was significant individual difference in the preferred air velocities, which indicate that personal control is important. The accepted air velocities depended on the type and source of the increased velocity. The Scandinavian subjects did not accept so high velocities as found in studies with Chinese subjects.
Thermal comfort; Air velocity; Personal control; Desk fan