A relation between calculated human body exergy consumption rate and subjectively assessed thermal sensation

Angela Simone, Jakub Kolarik, Toshiya Iwamatsu, Hideo Asada, Mateja Dovjak, Lisje Schellen, Masanori Shukuya, Bjarne W. Olesen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Application of the exergy concept to research on the built environment is a relatively new approach. It helps to optimize climate conditioning systems so that they meet the requirements of sustainable building design. As the building should provide a healthy and comfortable environment for its occupants, it is reasonable to consider both the exergy flows in building and those within the human body. Until now, no data have been available on the relation between human-body exergy consumption rates and subjectively assessed thermal sensation. The objective of the present work was to relate thermal sensation data, from earlier thermal comfort studies, to calculated human-body exergy consumption rates. The results show that the minimum human body exergy consumption rate is associated with thermal sensation votes close to thermal neutrality, tending to the slightly cool side of thermal sensation. Generally, the relationship between air temperature and the exergy consumption rate, as a first approximation, shows an increasing trend. Taking account of both convective and radiative heat exchange between the human body and the surrounding environment by using the calculated operative temperature, exergy consumption rates increase as the operative temperature increases above 24 ◦C or decreases below 22 ◦C. With the data available so far, a second-order polynomial relationship between thermal sensation and the exergy consumption rate was established.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy and Buildings
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Human body exergy consumption rate
    • Air temperature and mean radiant temperature
    • Human thermal sensation


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