A two-dimensional model for calculating heat transfer in the human body in a transient and non-uniform thermal environment

Dayi Lai, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A thermal model for the human body is used to assess the temperature of the body and a person's thermal comfort level. Most models available in the literature were developed for a uniform thermal environment and have limited applications. This study developed a 12-segment model for transient and non-uniform surrounding conditions by considering two-dimensional heat transfer in each segment of a human body. This heat transfer included convection, radiation, and evaporation on bare skin and skin covered with clothing. The model allows non-uniform clothing insulation across different body segments. The heat transfer between two body segments was estimated from blood circulation through counter-current heat exchange. This study evaluated the model's performance for subjects with and without clothing under a wide range of transient and non-uniform thermal environmental conditions. Good agreement was observed between the measured and calculated skin and rectal temperatures, although there were small discrepancies. The two-dimensional model developed in this study is a step forward in predicting thermal comfort under transient and non-uniform environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Heat transfer
  • Human body
  • Thermal comfort
  • Transient and non-uniform environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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