An analysis of influential factors on outdoor thermal comfort in summer.

Abstract

A variety of research has linked high temperature to outdoor thermal comfort in summer, but it remains unclear how outdoor meteorological environments influence people's thermal sensation in subtropical monsoon climate areas, especially in China. In order to explain the process, and to better understand the related influential factors, we conducted an extensive survey of thermally comfortable conditions in open outdoor spaces. The goal of this study was to gain an insight into the subjects' perspectives on weather variables and comfort levels, and determine the factors responsible for the varying human thermal comfort response in summer. These perceptions were then compared to actual ambient conditions. The database consists of surveys rated by 205 students trained from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm outdoors from 21 to 25 August 2009, at Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST), Nanjing, China. The multiple regression approach and simple factor analysis of variance were used to investigate the relationships between thermal comfort and meteorological environment, taking into consideration individual mood, gender, level of regular exercise, and previous environmental experiences. It was found that males and females have similar perceptions of maximum temperature; in the most comfortable environment, mood appears to have a significant influence on thermal comfort, but the influence of mood diminishes as the meteorological environment becomes increasingly uncomfortable. In addition, the study confirms the strong relationship between thermal comfort and microclimatic conditions, including solar radiation, atmospheric pressure, maximum temperature, wind speed and relative humidity, ranked by importance. There are also strong effects of illness, clothing and exercise, all of which influence thermal comfort. We also find that their former place of residence influences people's thermal comfort substantially by setting expectations. Finally, some relationships between thermal perception and amount of exercise, thermal experience, mood, clothing, illness and microclimate, etc., are established. Our findings also shed light on how to resist or adapt to outdoor hyperthermic conditions during summer in subtropical monsoon climate areas.

DOI: 10.1007/s00484-011-0503-9

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@article{Yin2012AnAO, title={An analysis of influential factors on outdoor thermal comfort in summer.}, author={Jifu Yin and Youfei Zheng and Rongjun Wu and Jianguo Tan and DianXiu Ye and Wei Wang}, journal={International journal of biometeorology}, year={2012}, volume={56 5}, pages={941-8} }