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Measuring the human body’s micro‐climate using a thermal manikin

  • The human body is surrounded by a micro‐climate which results from its convective release of heat. In this study, the air temperature and flow velocity of this micro‐climate were measured in a climate chamber at various room temperatures, using a thermal manikin simulating the heat release of the human being. Different techniques (Particle Streak Tracking, thermography, anemometry, and thermistors) were used for measurement and visualization. The manikin surface temperature was adjusted to the particular indoor climate based on simulations with a thermoregulation model (UCBerkeley Thermal Comfort Model). We found that generally, the micro‐climate is thinner at the lower part of the torso, but expands going up. At the head, there is a relatively thick thermal layer, which results in an ascending plume above the head. However, the micro‐climate shape strongly depends not only on the body segment, but also on boundary conditions: the higher the temperature difference between the surface temperature of the manikin and the air temperature, the faster the air flow in the micro‐climate. Finally, convective heat transfer coefficients strongly increase with falling room temperature, while radiative heat transfer coefficients decrease. The type of body segment strongly influences the convective heat transfer coefficient, while only minimally influencing the radiative heat transfer coefficient.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Conrad VölkerGND, Silvio Mämpel, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Oliver KornadtGND
DOI (Cite-Link):
URN (Cite-Link):
Parent Title (English):Indoor Air
Date of Publication (online):2018/10/25
Date of first Publication:2014/03/25
Release Date:2018/10/25
Publishing Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Institutes:Fakultät Bauingenieurwesen / Professur Bauphysik
Issue:24, 6
First Page:567
Last Page:579
Tag:CFD; climate chamber; heat transfer coefficient; micro climate; thermal manikin; thermography
GND Keyword:Raumklima; Mikroklima; Wärmeübertragung; Strömungsmechanik
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften / 621 Angewandte Physik
BKL-Classification:56 Bauwesen / 56.55 Bauphysik, Bautenschutz
Licence (German):License Logo Zweitveröffentlichung
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: "Measuring the human body’s micro‐climate using a thermal
manikin", which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.