RadComf Investigation of the Effect of Radiant Heat Flux on Thermal Sensation and Thermal Comfort

Project Description

Literature studies and preliminary work of our group show that prominent multi-body-part thermal sensation and comfort models do not always account for a precise enough representation of the perception of radiant heat flux from the environment. Particularly under asymmetric radiant temperature exposure, their suitability for evaluating thermal comfort in a space is limited as radiation is the dominant effect on thermal sensation under such conditions. Accordingly, the objective of this project is to better understand the radiant heat exchange effect on thermal sensation at different body parts from a set of experiments and to implement the new findings into an existing comfort model (UC Berkeley model). For this purpose, a modular apparatus has to be designed and manufactured to run experiments with human subjects under different and varying environmental conditions. The obtained experimental data will then be used to improve local and body-part-related thermal sensation/comfort sub-models. Finally, the improved overall model will be validated by whole-body sensation/comfort experiments. The experiments will be conducted in the test facility LOBSTER at KIT.