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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Thermal sensation and comfort models for non-uniform and transient environments: Part I: local sensation of individual body parts

  • Author(s): Zhang, Hui;
  • Arens, Edward;
  • Huizenga, Charlie;
  • Han, Taeyoung
  • et al.

A three-part series presents the development of models for predicting the local thermal sensation (Part I) and local comfort (Part II) of different parts of the human body, and also the whole-body sensation and comfort responses (Part III). The models predict these subjective responses to the environment from thermophysiological measurements or predictions (skin and core temperatures). The models apply to a range of environments: uniform and non-uniform, transient and stable. They are based on diverse results from the literature and from body-part-specific human subject tests in a climate chamber. They were validated against a test of passengers in automobiles. This series is intended to present the rationale, structure, and coefficients for these models so that others can test and develop them further as additional empirical data becomes available. The experimental methods and some measured results from the climate chamber tests have been published previously. Part I describes thermal sensation models representing 19 individual local body parts. The models’ structure and coefficients were derived by regression of skin and core temperatures against thermal sensation votes obtained in the chamber experiments. The sensation for each local body part is predicted by a logistic function with four inputs: local skin temperature, mean skin temperature presenting the whole body thermal state, and the time derivatives of skin and core temperatures representing the response to transients. These inputs can be obtained from thermophysiological computer programs that treat the body as multiple segments.

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