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Seasonal variation of thermal sensations in residential buildings in the hot summer and cold winter zone of China

Liu, H., Wu, Y., Li, B., Cheng, Y. and Yao, R. (2017) Seasonal variation of thermal sensations in residential buildings in the hot summer and cold winter zone of China. Energy and Buildings, 140. pp. 9-18. ISSN 0378-7788

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.01.066


The seasonal differences of neutral or acceptable temperatures between summer and winter were revealed by previous researchers, but the studies on the difference of human thermal adaption in transitional seasons are insufficient. To clarify this, this paper analyzes the data from a nationwide field study database, including a year-long survey which was carried out in 505 residential buildings in six cities located in the Hot Summer and Cold Winter (HSCW) zone of China involving 11,524 subjects. Results show a significant difference of adaptive responses in different seasons. Air temperature is found to be the most significant driver for behavioral responses, and a lag of behavioral responses behind climate change in transitional seasons is observed. Occupants not only adjust clothing insulation according to air temperature in different seasons, but also actively control indoor air movement, including closing/opening windows and using fans. The seasonal, monthly and daily neutral temperatures are studied, implying that occupants’ thermal experience history has significant effect on their thermal comfort by behavioral, physiological and psychological paths. Thus, the running mean air temperature method and aPMV model are recommended for thermal comfort evaluation in free-running space. The research results provide comprehensive understanding of the thermal comfort demand which directly affects the energy needs for heating and cooling purpose. The findings provide scientific evidence to the concept that dynamic thermal comfort temperature range should be considered in the evaluation of indoor thermal environment.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:68971
Uncontrolled Keywords:Seasonal variation; Thermal sensation; Dynamic thermal environment; Behaviors; Neutral temperature; Adaptive thermal comfort


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