Development of a Prototype Personal Cooling System for First Responders: User Feedback

    Volume 2, Issue 2 (February 2005)

    ISSN: 1546-962X

    CODEN: JAIOAD

    Published Online: 31 January 2005

    Page Count: 11


    Branson, DH
    Professor, Associate Professor, Graduate Student, Graduate Student, and Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University,

    Farr, CA
    Professor, Associate Professor, Graduate Student, Graduate Student, and Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University,

    Peksoz, S
    Professor, Associate Professor, Graduate Student, Graduate Student, and Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University,

    Nam, J
    Professor, Associate Professor, Graduate Student, Graduate Student, and Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University,

    Cao, H
    Professor, Associate Professor, Graduate Student, Graduate Student, and Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University,

    (Received 18 November 2003; accepted 9 July 2004)

    Abstract

    A series of six focus groups in five U.S. cities was conducted as a component in a 3-year project to develop a prototype personal cooling system for first responders. The target user was a HAZMAT worker wearing level A and B ensembles, with a 30-min mission and an average body heat dissipation of 180 W. The purpose of the focus groups was to determine user needs, wants, and concerns early and progressively throughout the development of the prototype system to serve as design input. The first two focus groups provided information on the use of HAZMAT ensembles and thermal comfort problems associated with wearing the ensembles while working an incident, and reaction to a mock-up cooler system. Focus groups 3-6 provided user feedback on an alpha prototype system. All groups confirmed the need for a cooling system and the problem with moisture build-up within level A and B encapsulated suits. Reaction to the liquid-cooled vest was positive. An exterior location for the cooler unit was acceptable if users' concerns were addressed adequately.


    Paper ID: JAI12105

    DOI: 10.1520/JAI12105

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    Author
    Title Development of a Prototype Personal Cooling System for First Responders: User Feedback
    Symposium Performance of Protective Clothing: Global Needs and Emerging Markets: 8th Symposium, 2004-01-15
    Committee F23