Jerry Shiner’s clear and informative talk adeptly answered the questions: how does that little box work and how did it get here? In other words, everything you ever wanted to know about active microclimate systems (aka microclimate generators, MCGs), but were afraid to ask. Starting from MCGs’ humble beginnings in 1938, Jerry reviewed and illustrated (with his excellent drawings) the technological history and innovations that have lead to the elegant, compact devices available today. I could not help but think of the charming series, The Secret Life of Machines.
Used with a well-sealed case (this is key), a MCG controls all of the factors a good HVAC system can: T, RH, and air exchanges. It can also provide readings, fail safes, and alarms. To boot, they have hip names such as the Mini One and the Maxi 60, available through the speaker’s company. This sensible talk inspired my confidence in these devices, as well as Jerry’s interest and diligence in continuously improving them. He spoke of “magical thinking and microclimate control,” something many AIC attendees may quietly have in common.