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Teaching Human Termal Comfort Through a Software Graphic Interface

[+] Author Affiliations
P. Arezes, C. P. Leão, M. L. Ferreira, S. F. Teixeira

University of Minho

Paper No. IMECE2006-14873, pp. 345-352; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations in Engineering Education: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4781-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Human comfort has become a key issue in developing new technologies and products. Thermal comfort perception is mainly affected by heat and mass transfer processes between the human body and its environment. In teaching this subject to Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students at University of Minho, the thermal comfort index PMV (Predicted Mean Vote) has often been used. It gives a statistical mean value of comfort sensation and it is very simple to use. On the other hand, a full computer simulation software of the human bodyclothing-environment system is a more effective way to study thermal comfort. However, computer models can be quite complicated to follow and to use in classes. A thermal human comfort model has been incorporated into a graphical interface in order to facilitate its current use. The graphical interface appears to be a very useful tool to interact with the thermal human comfort model developed. During its development stage, the interface has been tested using questionnaires in order to optimize its usability as a learning tool. Three different groups have been targeted by the questionnaires: first group of students from the Industrial Engineering degree, who have already some general knowledge about ergonomics, the second group included Post-Graduate students in Human Engineering, and the third group included students from Mechanical Engineering degree. Comparing results and also motivating students to this interesting and demanding subject has been the main objective of the present work.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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