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Field study of a thermal environment and adaptive model in Shanghai


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A long-term field investigation was carried out in naturally ventilated residential buildings in Shanghai from April 2003 to November 2004. A total of 1.768 returned questionnaires were collected in the study. This study deals with the thermal sensation of occupants in naturally ventilated buildings and the change in thermal neutral temperature with season. The range of accepted temperature in naturally ventilated buildings is between 14.7 °C Top and 29.8 °C Top. The results also report the findings of the adaptive comfort model in Shanghai that determines the adaptive relationship of neutral temperature with outdoor air temperature.

The study of thermal comfort is very important because it is correlated not only with occupants’ comfort, but also with energy consumption. For example, there are about five million homes in Shanghai. About 260.000 kWh per hour power load could be saved if airconditioning temperature increases by 1 °C in each home [25]. Thermal comfort standards in China are in accordance with some international standards, such as ASHRAE 55-1992 (ASHRAE, 1992) and ISO 7730 (ISO, 1994). However, these standards are based almost exclusively on data from climate chamber experiments and they are suitable for static and uniformly thermal conditions. The indoor design temperatures as described by these standards take no account of climatic variations and adaptive behavior of people. For any task and use of the building, there is a recommended temperature that is assumed to apply irrespective of climate and social convention, way of life and kind of clothing, although with some recognition of difference between summer and winter [7; 11; 16]. Studies suggest that thermal comfort standards based on laboratory studies are not representative of real conditions [7; 11; 16]. With the development of the thermal comfort study, researchers found that a subject’s thermal sensation was different according to individual, race, climate, habits and customs, etc. [17; 23]. Researchers have carried out adaptive thermal comfort studies in different countries or areas (Cardinale and Stefanizzi, 1996; Tsilingiridis and Sotiropoulos, 1998), believing that thermal comfort standards should conform to local climate and comfortable temperature could be variable according to outdoor temperature, thereby improving the degree of thermal comfort and saving energy.

Auteurs: X. J. Ye* **, Z. P. Zhou*, Z. W. Lian*, H. M. Liu*, C. Z. Li*** en Y. M. Liu***
* Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
** Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, China
*** College of Basic Medicine, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, China
This article was also published in Indoor Air 2006; 16: 320-326
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