A portable calorimeter for the calibration of thermal manikins

Alternative titleA portable calorimeter of the calibrations of thermal manikins
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Conference8th International Meeting for Manikins and Modeling (8i3M), August 22-26, 2010, Victoria, BC
Subjectportable calorimeter; thermal manikin; thermal protection; calorimeter design; air calorimeter
AbstractDue to expanding activities in remote, cold environments such as resource development in the Arctic and new polar cruise routes, measurement of the thermal protection of garments and shelters is becoming critical to ensure the safety of crews and passengers in extreme conditions. Thermal manikins offer an alternative to the ethics of human subject testing; however, some manikin results have disagreed in a recent round-robin test. The source of the inconsistency between manikins could be methodological or calibration. Inconsistent measurements dilute the argument for using manikins in place of human subjects. Since manikins are not mass-produced and a variety of designs are in use, a calibration tool is needed to make manikin data credible and prove equivalence to human subject testing. Calibration by means of a standard clothing set can demonstrate consistency among manikins but not absolute accuracy. To facilitate the calibration of manikins in many locations, there is need for a portable calibration system. The objective of this work is to develop a portable air calorimeter to test thermal manikins in their native environment (i.e. local control chambers, methods and equipment) with a theoretical accuracy of close to 1%. The calorimeter houses the manikin in a sealed air chamber stirred with a small fan to prevent stagnation and removes heat using water flow through aluminum tubing encased in sheet aluminum walls. The heat lost by the manikin is calculated from the temperature rise in the water and the mass flow rate. Accuracy is achieved by minimizing extraneous heat transfer with vacuum-insulated panels and a calibrated mass flowmeter (±0.2 g/s) and paired thermistors (± 0.01°C). The calorimeter will be calibrated against a standard before each use. The calorimeter is designed for shipping complete with the accessories (pump-reservoir system) and to operate inside a variety of facilities around the world, relying on universal power supplies, minimal set-up and only distilled water added by the user. The calorimeter is sized to fit a wide profile of the manikins currently in use in their own environmental control chamber.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Ocean Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number17653047
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Record identifier374e6556-727a-4519-864d-2ee770b50ba2
Record created2011-03-31
Record modified2016-05-09
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