Herman Miller C2 : Peltier Coolers on Your Desk
Herman Miller, home of Charles Eames, George Nelson and the Aeron Chair, and now one of the greenest of companies, does not normally make appliances. Therefore we scratched our head when we saw the new C2 this week. We love the idea- ambient temperature is one of the biggest complaints people have about their workspaces. Herman Miller has given us comfortable chairs and good lighting- can they solve this as well?
The C2 acts as an air filter, uses only 1.5 amps of power, yet can, (according to Engadget,) allow users to adjust the surrounding temperature up to a 40 degree increase, and an 8 degree decrease, taking 72 degrees F (22 degrees C) as the starting temperature." which are big numbers even in Farenheit.
It appears to be "the first commercially available non-automotive product to use Amerigon's patented advanced thermoelectric (TE) technology developed by its BSST subsidiary." - a heating and cooling system previously used in high end car seats. From an Amerigon press release:
Robyn Hofmeyer, General Manager of The Be Collection, said, "A common problem in today's work environment is finding a temperature that works for everyone. C2 can solve that issue, for each individual, in an energy- efficient and safe way."
Lon E. Bell, PhD., President and Chief Executive Officer of the BSST subsidiary of Amerigon, commented, "C2 is a great example of what can be developed with our proprietary thermoelectric technology. Much like Amerigon's CCS system, Herman Miller's C2 delivers heating and cooling in a compact package and is designed to be very friendly to the environment. As BSST continues to make thermoelectrics more efficient, the range of new, innovative product opportunities like C2 opens up dramatically."
A Google patent search on Amerigon turned up 5524439, a car seat system described thus:
"Each heat pump comprises a number of Peltier thermoelectric modules for temperature conditioning the air in a main heat exchanger and a main exchanger fan for passing the conditioned air from the main exchanger to the variable temperature seat. The Peltier modules and each main fan may be manually adjusted via a temperature switch and a fan switch, respectively. Additionally, the temperature climate control system may comprise a number of additional temperature sensors to monitor the temperature of the ambient air surrounding the occupant as well as the temperature of the conditioned air directed to the occupant. The controller is configured to automatically regulate the operation of the Peltier modules and/or each main fan according to a temperature climate control algorithm designed both to maximize occupant comfort..."