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High-density thermal sensitivity maps of the human body

journal contribution
posted on 10.10.2019 by Maohui Luo, Zhe Wang, Hui Zhang, Edward Arens, Davide Filingeri, Ling Jin, Ali Ghahramani, Wenhua Chen, Yingdong He, Binghui Si
‘Personal comfort systems’ and thermally active clothing are able to warm and cool individual building occupants by transferring heat directly to and from their body surfaces. Such systems would ideally target local body surfaces with high temperature sensitivities. Such sensitivities have not been quantified in detail before. Here we report local thermal sensations and sensitivities for 318 local skin spots distributed over one side of the body, measured on a large number of subjects. Skin temperature changes were induced with a thermal probe 14 mm in diameter, and subjective thermal sensations were surveyed after 10 s. Our neutral base temperature was 31 °C and the spot stimulus was ±5 °C. Cool and warm sensitivities are seen to vary widely by body part. The foot, lower leg and upper chest are much less sensitive than average; in comparison, the cheek, neck back, and seat area are 2–3 times as sensitive to both cooling and warming stimuli. Every body part exhibits stronger sensitivity to cooling (1.3–1.6 times stronger) than to warming. Inter-personal differences and regional variance within body parts were observed to be 2–3 times greater than potential sex differences. These high-density thermal sensitivity maps with appended dataset provide the most comprehensive distributions of cold and warm sensitivity across the human body.

Funding

ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Department of Energy), United States, Delta program under contract DE-AR0000529

History

School

  • Design

Published in

Building and Environment

Volume

167

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier Ltd.

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Building and Environment and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106435.

Acceptance date

25/09/2019

Publication date

2019-10-07

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0360-1323

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Davide Filingeri

Article number

106435

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