Where on the body would be the best place to achieve the greatest cooling effect with a "cooling undergarment"? Concentrated over the kidneys, groin, inside the wrists, back of the neck?

  • $\begingroup$ @Charles yes, the suit's internal conditions would be the same; however, the external mechanics of radiating heat into space vs. into an atmosphere would not. And no, I'm not asking "the best way to maintain a cool internal suit environment"; rather, I'm asking what points on the body are the best for heat exchange. $\endgroup$ – Scott Baker Aug 10 '17 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ Gentlemen, the space suit, the environment, and the actor/astronaut is irrelevant. The relevant question is "what points on the body are the best for heat exchange". $\endgroup$ – Scott Baker Aug 10 '17 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Charles OK well it sure looks to me like the question asks what are the places on the body that would be the most effective to keep it cool inside a poorly-ventilated suit worn by an actor. The OP lists some locations, and wonders if these are the right ones or not. To me the question is simple and clear. It could be that mentioning space suits is a little distracting. It was brought up as background (how the OP got to this question) but it may not be helping the question about cooling an actor in a costume. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 10 '17 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Charles William'Scott'Baker is the OP. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 10 '17 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ @William'Scott'Baker asking questions in a new SE with lower rep has "special challenges". There's always someone who thinks they see an "easy mark". I liked your original question :) Anyway you might add back that it's for maintaining a healthy temperature in a suit for an actor with poor ventilation (rather than a patient undergoing Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest for example) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 10 '17 at 18:05

Based on hte thermal maps from this paper it appears the most consistent place would be the along the spine on the back, with a small "V" like split near the neck. since this is where the most heat is radiation it is the place the most heat can removed. Oddly the neck appears to vary quite a bit in its cooling capacity, this may be a result of different muscle mass.

This does make sense physiologically since it is both the core of the body and he closest you can get to the largest blood vessels for the entire body, the abdominal aorta. It should also be consistent for males and females for this reason, even in the obese those portions of the body stay relatively uninsulated.

although according to trails for and with cooling vests and hyperthermia, no one part of the body can cool the entire body very quickly or consistently (the bodies own responses fight you on this) although it certainly helps with comfort.

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From personal experience, the best places to put a cooler (at maximum metabolic load) are across the back and over the neck and head.

Good candidate areas for a heat sink or exchanger:

Any region where large volume per unit time of blood travels close to the skin. Some dinosaurs are thought to have cycled blood through spiny fins on their back to cool down (obviously this works for non-dinosaurs too, and even better if the blood vessels in the fin are pressurized (see Are there any known examples of animals with air-conditioner type cooling? ).

Regions where a lot of metabolic activity takes place, including muscles in active use and "brown fat" (see https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-fat)


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