comfortA - A better understanding of thermal Alliesthesia and thermal Adaptation for correctly predicting dynamic thermal comfort
Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (H2020-MSCA-IF-2019)
Laboratoire des sciences de l’ingénieur pour l’environnement (LaSIE) - La Rochelle Université
Partner Organisation :
The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Lab - The University of Sydney
Richard de Dear
Much of the effort in thermal comfort research has been given to understand which environmental and personal steady-state conditions lead to thermal comfort. This focus on static and isothermal states has been translated in the prescription of fixed set-point temperatures in buildings. Now, a paradigm shift in the way energy is generated and used calls for a complete rethink of the way buildings are designed and operated. In contrast to a fixed set-point driven design, the implementation of set-point modulations in buildings allows shifting and/or shaving heating and cooling peak loads and contributes to boost buildings’ flexibility. However, a scarce knowledge of the effect of dynamic indoor conditions on occupants’ thermal comfort still prevents the design and adoption of comfortable temperature fluctuations.
While big advancements have been made in modelling the physics of the heat and mass transfer into and out of the human body (i.e. the passive system of multi-segmental and multi-node dynamic models of human thermoregulation), still very little is known on how the brain processes and integrates sensory inputs to create thermal perceptions, particularly during dynamic indoor conditions. The comfortA project aims to address this knowledge deficit by shedding new light on the psycho-physiological mechanisms driving the dynamic thermal perception, with a particular focus on the phenomena of thermal alliesthesia and thermal adaptation, and by creating a more accurate predictive physiological-based thermal comfort model, which is able to better account for these two phenomena.
The experimental part of the comfortA project will be carried out during the outgoing phase at the IEQ Lab, University of Sydney (Australia) under the supervision of Professor Richard de Dear. The modelling part will take place during the incoming phase at the LaSIE, La Rochelle University (France) under the main supervision of Professor Christian Inard.