Wearable Personal Cooling and Dehumidifying System for People Wearing Personal Protective Equipment
This project aims to develop a lightweight and less expensive wearable personal air cooling and dehumidifying system (WCDS) that can be applied underneath the impermeable personal protective equipment (PPE) to release heat stress and reduce skin wetness for health care workers (HCWs) who work in highly contagious or hazardous environments. Either thermoelectric cooling or ice cooling can be applied in this system depending on the environments and requirements. With a separable heat transmission system, an effective air cooling and dehumidification can be obtained inside a clothing microenvironment without taking air from surrounding atmosphere, therefore preventing air infiltration and infection. The system can provide sustainable cooling effect that helps improve the overall thermal comfort of HCWs, prolong their effective working time and reduce donning/doffing frequency of the protective gown, therefore minimizing the risk of infection and reducing the waste of PPE. The novel cooling system requires no change or minimum modification on existed protective gown, which ensures complete insulation from air infiltration. Considering the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic, wearable PPE cooling system for HCWs has tremendous global demand and could be highly promising for commercialization.
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