The effects of solar radiation on thermal comfort.

Publication: International journal of biometeorology
Publication Date: 2007
Study Author(s): Hodder, Simon G;Parsons, Ken;
Institution: Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between simulated solar radiation and thermal comfort. Three studies investigated the effects of (1) the intensity of direct simulated solar radiation, (2) spectral content of simulated solar radiation and (3) glazing type on human thermal sensation responses. Eight male subjects were exposed in each of the three studies. In Study 1, subjects were exposed to four levels of simulated solar radiation: 0, 200, 400 and 600 Wm(-2). In Study 2, subjects were exposed to simulated solar radiation with four different spectral contents, each with a total intensity of 400 Wm(-2) on the subject. In Study 3, subjects were exposed through glass to radiation caused by 1,000 Wm(-2) of simulated solar radiation on the exterior surface of four different glazing types. The environment was otherwise thermally neutral where there was no direct radiation, predicted mean vote (PMV)=0+/-0.5, [International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard 7730]. Ratings of thermal sensation, comfort, stickiness and preference and measures of mean skin temperature (t(sk)) were taken. Increase in the total intensity of simulated solar radiation rather than the specific wavelength of the radiation is the critical factor affecting thermal comfort. Thermal sensation votes showed that there was a sensation scale increase of 1 scale unit for each increase of direct radiation of around 200 Wm(-2). The specific spectral content of the radiation has no direct effect on thermal sensation. The results contribute to models for determining the effects of solar radiation on thermal comfort in vehicles, buildings and outdoors.
PMID: 17009012

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