Cooling the human body with fans.

In summary, the conversation discusses the use of fans for cooling during indoor cycling and the potential benefits of using multiple small fans instead of one large and expensive fan. It is suggested that wetting a headband or shirt can also aid in cooling. The best cooling strategy is to have multiple, cheap fans with a high volume and low velocity placed strategically and to have water on the body for evaporative cooling.
  • #1
Bhima
1
0
Hi,

I'm a cyclist who has just got some rollers, which allow me to ride inside without going anywhere - essential if I want to ride on harsh winter days.

The problem is, without the cooling airflow normally experienced when out on the road, heat exhaustion makes long periods of indoor training unbearable!

Most people get the biggest fan they can afford, but after testing a few out, I've realized that getting just a little bit more power from a fan can cost a LOT of money. For example, I can get 8 standard desk fans for the price of one which is twice as powerful as those and for the price of 5 of them, I can get one which is about 50% more powerful.

My questions:
If I buy 3 or 4 of the cheap, standard desktop fans, would they be more effective at cooling my body than the larger one, if used all at once, despite being less powerful individually?

If so - would using multiple fans be more effective if I placed them together, or pointing at different parts of my body from different angles? Would placing them in any arrangement other than a one-directional setup cause any kind of significant cancellations in the airflow, reducing the effectiveness of them?

Could multiple weak fans actually be more powerful than one big fan? Or would you just get the maximum amount of power that the fans could individually produce, but just more airflow over a larger volume of space?

What's the best cooling strategy here? Obviously, i'll have the fan(s) as close to me as possible, but is there anything I can do to improve the cooling? For instance, would setting up near a wall/cooling help/hinder the airflow/cooling?

Thanks
 
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  • #2
One of the easiest things to do is wet a headband or even your shirt. The fan breeze plus the evaporative cooling from the water work very well. I know that for a fact since I used this scheme in desert conditions.

As far as the fans go, really you need to be able to look at the flow numbers from each. It would, most likely, be more economical to get multiple, cheap fans and be mindful of placement. I have a hunch (because I have never done this kind of price comparison) that one large flow capacity fan will be much more expensive.
 
  • #3
Volume has a linear effect on power consumption while velocity has a cubic effect. To get the most cooling with the least power consumption you want high volume, low velocity. That means getting a nice wide fan or multiple fans stacked together - ideally as wide and high as yourself plus the bike - and setting them on a low speed. Or ideally starting with energy efficient fans designed for low speed.

Also agreed that any water on your body will aid the cooling.
 

Related to Cooling the human body with fans.

1. How do fans cool the human body?

Fans create a wind chill effect by moving air across the skin, which helps to evaporate sweat and remove heat from the body. This helps to lower the body's core temperature and provides a cooling sensation.

2. Can fans lower the room temperature?

No, fans do not actually lower the temperature of a room. They simply circulate the existing air, which can make it feel cooler due to the wind chill effect on the skin. To actually lower the room temperature, an air conditioning unit would be needed.

3. How effective are fans at cooling the body?

Fans can be very effective at cooling the body, especially when used in combination with other cooling methods such as staying hydrated and wearing light, breathable clothing. However, in extreme heat or high humidity, fans may not be as effective in providing relief from the heat.

4. Can fans be harmful to the body?

In general, fans are not harmful to the body. However, if used in a poorly ventilated or overcrowded space, fans can circulate hot air and make it feel even hotter. It is also important to take breaks from using fans and to make sure they are not blowing directly on the face, which can cause dryness and irritation.

5. Are there any other benefits to using fans besides cooling the body?

Yes, fans can also help to improve air circulation and prevent stagnant air, which can be beneficial for people with allergies or respiratory issues. They can also help to keep insects away by blowing them away from the body. Additionally, fans can be more energy-efficient than air conditioning units, making them a more environmentally friendly cooling option.

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