Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Modeling solar radiation on a human body indoors by a novel mathematical model

  • Author(s): He, Yingdong
  • Arens, Edward
  • Li, Nianping
  • Wang, Zhe
  • Zhang, Hui
  • A, Yongga
  • Yuan, Chenzhang
  • et al.

Solar radiation affects occupant comfort and building energy consumption in ways that have received relatively little attention in environmental design and energy simulation. Direct, diffuse, and reflected irradiation on the body have warming effects that can be equated to increases in the mean radiant temperature (MRT) of the occupant’s surroundings. A simplified occupant-centered model (SolarCal Model, i.e., SC Model) has recently been adopted in ASHRAE Standard 55, followed by a comprehensive simulation procedure combining detailed room- and manikin geometries using the Daylight Coefficient Model (DC Model). This paper presents an intermediate-level mathematical model (the HNU Solar Model) capable of rapid annual calculations of the MRT increases. Both the room and occupant geometries are simplified but consistent with those of the SC Model. Novel strategies of the calculation include a sky-annulus fraction, virtual body shadow, and equivalent window. Modeled results are compared with those simulated by the DC Model using Radiance software, which is assumed to be accurate. The differences in the Delta MRT by diffuse, direct, and reflected solar radiation are usually less than 1, 2, and 0.5°C between the DC and HNU Solar Models, respectively. For a given occupant position indoors, the HNU Solar Model only needs five seconds to obtain the annual Delta MRT, while the DC Model needs about seven minutes. The HNU Solar Model provides a simple and practical way to evaluate indoor environments at the room scale, to design fenestration, and to predict set-point changes in annual energy simulation of HVAC systems.

Main Content
Current View