Microclimate is a buzzword you may have heard in conversations around air pollution, climate change and renewable energy. But what is exactly, and how can we use it?
People can now create their own environment using advanced technology to transform the world around us from personal wearables to vehicles, air filters and more.
Personal Microclimate Technology
Companies have developed personal climate systems (PCS) to improve consumer’s experiences, comfort, and ease when using their products.
Wearable technology has implemented PCS technology to generate microclimates for consumers. Sportswear company Odlo has found a way to integrate this microclimate technology in their shirts, jackets and more.
These items are lightweight and keep you at a cool temperature to provide balance between “waterproofness and breathability”. This controlled climate helps athletes run more comfortably as they sweat.
Mattress technology, like the memory foam, was introduced by NASA in the 80s and released to the public in 1991. Since then, healthcare companies like Hill-Rom have applied microclimate technology that focus on temperature control to patient mattresses . Hill-Rom’s P500 Mattress Replacement System keeps patients cool and dry, making their skin less susceptible to infections.
Tempronics is a leading manufacturer of climate technology in vehicles. They’ve developed a new PCS that is available for end users instead of directly integrated into the vehicle itself.
This device, known as the PCS-200, uses thermoelectric technology to act as a cooling/heating system for the individual’s seat in the vehicle. The thermoelectric power makes this highly efficient while consuming low energy. It’s similar to the HVAC system in your vehicle, but consumes less than 100 watts, while other HVAC systems consume 1-10 kilowatts. The PCS-200 provides comfort to drivers without having to worry about the A/C or heat directly from the vehicle. This device is also used for aircraft, home, commercial, and medical seating.
Environmental Microclimate Technology
Microclimate technology also helps the climates of cities and urbanized areas. They’re best used in areas known to have hotter temperatures and dirtier air that make it difficult for people to breathe comfortably.
Molekule, a science and technology company, created an air filter that cleans out bacteria, mold, and other pollutants from your home. This product completely eliminates pollutants by breaking them down to a molecular level instead of just trapping them in a filter.
According to the American Lung Association, more than 140 million Americans are living with unhealthy air. Areas like California have suffered greatly from this because of the wildfires. Having this air filter will make Californian homes breathable again.
John Hopkins University and Virginia Tech teamed up to minimize delayed heat warnings in Kibera, Kenya when temperatures surpass a safe range.
Researchers used iButton sensors that were integrated with lightweight radiation shields to increase air flow, while ensuring the heat from the sun wouldn’t interfere. This gave them a more accurate read of the temperatures within .5 celcius.
The team was able to prove that the heat and air in urban cities is hotter and harsher than rural cities in Kibera, Kenya. As a result, they recommend sending more accurate heat warnings and increasing the amount of shade trees and vegetation.
Creating Microclimate technology is a way to save energy and bring comfortability to consumers around the world.