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Simulating the human body's microclimate using automatic coupling of CFD and an advanced thermoregulation model

  • This study aims to develop an approach to couple a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver to the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) thermal comfort model to accurately evaluate thermal comfort. The coupling was made using an iterative JavaScript to automatically transfer data for each individual segment of the human body back and forth between the CFD solver and the UCB model until reaching convergence defined by a stopping criterion. The location from which data are transferred to the UCB model was determined using a new approach based on the temperature difference between subsequent points on the temperature profile curve in the vicinity of the body surface. This approach was used because the microclimate surrounding the human body differs in thickness depending on the body segment and the surrounding environment. To accurately simulate the thermal environment, the numerical model was validated beforehand using experimental data collected in a climate chamber equipped with a thermal manikin. Furthermore, an example of the practical implementations of this coupling is reported in this paper through radiant floor cooling simulation cases, in which overall and local thermal sensation and comfort were investigated using the coupled UCB model.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Conrad VoelkerORCiDGND, Hayder AlsaadORCiD
DOI (Cite-Link):
URN (Cite-Link):
Parent Title (English):Indoor Air
Date of Publication (online):2019/02/11
Date of first Publication:2018/02/02
Release Date:2019/02/18
Publishing Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Institutes:Fakultät Bauingenieurwesen / Professur Bauphysik
Issue:28, Heft 3
First Page:415
Last Page:425
Tag:UCB model; computational fluid dynamics; heat transfer coefficient; microclimate; thermal sensation
GND Keyword:Numerische Strömungssimulation; Mikroklima; Wärmeübergangszahl; Wärmeempfindung
Dewey Decimal Classification:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 530 Physik / 532 Mechanik der Fluide; Mechanik der Flüssigkeiten
BKL-Classification:56 Bauwesen / 56.55 Bauphysik, Bautenschutz
Licence (German):License Logo Zweitveröffentlichung
This is the peer reviewed version of the article published in Indoor Air 28 (3), 415-425 (2018) and may be found in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Copyright 2018 John Wiley & Sons. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the authors and John Wiley & Sons.