Graphical visualization for spatial resolution of mean radiant temperature (MRT) within a space.

Use the CBE Spatial Thermal Comfort Tool

Status: Completed

Funding Sources: CBE Industry Consortium

Project Objective

Develop an interactive tool that calculates and displays the mean radiant temperature (MRT) and predicted comfort within a space, based on room surface temperatures, solar gain through windows and skylights. Enable input of thermal comfort variables such as clothing levels and metabolic rates.

Significance to Industry

Modeling indoor environments for thermal comfort analysis has historically been a challenging proposition. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models maybe useful but require expertise, but many have prohibitive costs and most lack thermal comfort analysis capability. Simpler tools such as the ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Tool allow analysis of a single condition or point in space, but do not offer feedback on spacial distributions of comfort conditions.

Research Approach

This tool brings together the functions of tools and thermal comfort models previously developed by CBE researchers and collaborators. These foundation tools include CBE’s Thermal Comfort Tool, and the SolarCal, a simplified model to study the thermal comfort effects of shortwave radiation with a simplified set of inputs, documented in the referenced publication below.

The new tool, developed by Tyler Hoyt, allows a user to model a space in 3D, including windows and skylights, and then viewing a graphical output showing MRT or comfort shown in predicted mean vote (PMT) as distributed throughout the space. The tool was built using advanced tools such as WebGL rendered.


Publications and Reports

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