Is Sony’s Wearable Air Conditioner Part of a Cooling Trend?
The Reon Pocket air conditioner by Sony could be a sign of things to come. In fact, the portable device illustrates the concept of “decentralized air conditioning” in a highly personalized way.
The palm-sized, plastic unit is placed against your skin aided by a silicone pad on the back, or used as a handheld. But the most widely promoted usage involves buying Sony’s V-neck undershirt with a pocket on the back to keep the device resting between your shoulder blades.
How does it work? The device uses the Peltier effect to cool or warm itself up by absorbing and releasing heat. Sony suggests that it can reduce your body surface temperature by 13°C, for example from 36°C (96°F) to 23°C (73.4°F). That may be the case at the point of contact, but the effect is clearly much less pronounced across the whole body, as Sony’s own “heat map” pictures show.
Basically, the Reon Pocket does what you’d expect any small, cold object to do when held against your skin. Think of it as a form of “on-the-spot cooling.”
The concept of applying heating or cooling when and where it is needed seems like the ultimate in energy and cooling efficiency — and it is! The same idea goes to work in a ductless cooling system, room-by-room or zone-by-zone, when working alongside a mini-split heat pump.
Using remote control access, just like the iPhone or Android “app” that works with the Sony device, a homeowner can control the temperature in different parts of a house or apartment and at different times of the day.
Zoning your home with ductless cooling is this concept write large. Single or multi-zone air conditioning allows for several benefits including elimination of hot and cold spots in a home and individual control of different rooms’ temperatures. For example, you could choose to zone upstairs from downstairs so that your heating comes on in the morning to heat the lower rooms of your house.
So while we can’t recommend a pocket air conditioner for anything greater than holding a cold can of soda against your skin, we can recommend the concept to cool the most livable areas in your home at scale.
For more information about adding zone heating and cooling to your home, ducted or ductless, with or without an existing central air system, contact your Quality Heating & Cooling consultant for a free estimate. [QHEAC]