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Author(s): Soraia Neves
Sandra Couto
João Campos
Tiago Santos
Title: Advances in the optimisation of apparel heating products: A numerical approach to study heat transport through a blanket with an embedded smart heating system
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The optimisation of the performance of products with smart/active functionalities (e. g. in protective clothing, home textiles products, automotive seats, etc.) is still a challenge for manufacturers and developers. The aim of this study was to optimise the thermal performance of a heating product by a numerical approach, by analysing several opposing requirements and defining solutions for the identified limitations, before the construction of the first prototype. A transfer model was developed to investigate the transport of heat from the skin to the environment, across a heating blanket with an embedded smart heating system. Several parameters of the textile material and of the heating system were studied, in order to optimise the thermal performance of the heating blanket. Focus was put on the effects of thickness and thermal conductivity of each layer, and on parameters associated with the heating elements, e.g. position of the heating wires relative to the skin, distance between heating wires, applied heating power, and temperature range for operation of the heating system. Furthermore, several configurations of the blanket (and corresponding heating powers) were analysed in order to minimise the heat loss from the body to the environment and the temperature distribution along the skin. The results show that, to ensure an optimal compromise between the thermal performance of the product and the temperature oscillation along its surface, the distance between the wires should be small (and not bigger than 50 mm), and each layer of the heating blanket should have a specific thermal resistance, based on the expected external conditions during use and the requirements of the heating system (i.e. requirements regarding energy consumption/efficiency and capacity to effectively regulate body exchanges with surrounding environment). The heating system should operate in an ON/OFF mode based on the body heating needs and within a temperature range specified based on the blanket total thermal resistance, external temperature during use, and observed temperature on the blanket outer surface (safety and energy,efficiency aspects). The approach described in this work enabled the definition of the textile properties, the features of the embedded heating system, and the overall design of the system thus reducing substantially the number of prototypes needed for the final performance optimisation and fine-tuning.
Subject: Engenharia química
Chemical engineering
Scientific areas: Ciências da engenharia e tecnologias::Engenharia química
Engineering and technology::Chemical engineering
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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