Personal comfort systems: A review on comfort, energy, and economics


Conventional heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed to condition the entire building volume. In contrast, Personal Comfort Systems (PCS) target conditioning only the occupied zones of the space, while maintaining the remaining volume at a relatively under-conditioned state. PCS offer the occupants the choice of modulating their immediate thermal ambience with local controls. The individual-level control helps in improving the subjective thermal and air quality acceptability with the desired thermal sensation. This review paper details on the various types of heating, cooling, ventilation, heating with ventilation, and cooling with ventilation PCS devices. It summarises the thermal ambience created by the respective PCS devices and the resultant subjective responses of the occupants. This review also identifies the energy saving potential of various kinds of PCS devices, the power use of PCS devices, and discusses their economic viability.

Energy and Buildings
Quan Jin
Quan Jin
Senior researcher

Quan Jin is Senior Researcher in the research group Sustainable Building at the Division of Building Technology, and in the Area of advance Energy. She conducts research on indoor environmental quality from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and their impact on building energy efficiency and occupant health and comfort. The goal is to create tools and knowledge to improve human well-being and productivity in sustainable buildings while minimizing the energy consumption.