Design for thermal sensation and comfort states in vehicles cabins

Ali Alahmer, Mahmoud Abdelhamid, Mohammed Omar

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    60 Scopus citations


    This manuscript investigates the analysis and modeling of vehicular thermal comfort parameters using a set of designed experiments aided by thermography measurements. The experiments are conducted using a full size climatic chamber to host the test vehicle, to accurately assess the transient and steady state temperature distributions of the test vehicle cabin. Further investigate the thermal sensation (overall and local) and the human comfort states under artificially created relative humidity scenarios. The thermal images are calibrated through a thermocouples network, while the outside temperature and relative humidity are manipulated through the climatic environmental chamber with controlled soaking periods to guarantee the steady state conditions for each test scenario. The relative humidity inside the passenger cabin is controlled using a Total Humidity Controller (THC). The simulation uses the experimentally extracted boundary conditions via a 3-D Berkeley model that is set to be fully transient to account for the interactions in the velocity and temperature fields in the passenger compartment, which included interactions from turbulent flow, thermal buoyancy and the three modes of heat transfer conduction, convection and radiation. The model investigates the human comfort by analyzing the effect of the in-cabin relative humidity from two specific perspectives; firstly its effect on the body temporal variation of temperature within the cabin. Secondly, the Local Sensation (LS) and Comfort (LC) are analyzed for the different body segments in addition to the Overall Sensation (OS) and the Overall Comfort (OC). Furthermore, the human sensation is computed using the Fanger model in terms of the Predicted Mean Value (PMV) and the Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied (PPD) indices. The experimental and simulation results show that controlling the RH levels during the heating and the cooling processes (winter and summer conditions respectively) aid the A/C system to achieve the human comfort zone faster than the case if the RH value is not controlled. Also, the measured and predicted transient temperatures are compared and found to be in good agreement.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)126-140
    Number of pages15
    JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Apr 2012


    • Berkeley model
    • Fanger model
    • Passenger cabin
    • PMV
    • PPD
    • Relative humidity
    • Thermal comfort
    • Thermal sensation
    • Thermography


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