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Evaluation of Human Thermal Comfort in Offices in Kuwait and Assessment of the Applicability of the Standard PMV Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Nawaf Al-Mutawa, Walid Chakroun

Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Mohammad H. Hosni

Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56787, pp. 999-1009; 11 pages
doi:10.1115/HT-FED2004-56787
From:
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 1
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4690-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME

abstract

It has been known that the human thermal comfort is not exclusively a function of air temperature but also a function of six additional parameters, namely, mean radiant temperature, air velocity, turbulence intensity, humidity, activity level, and clothing insulation. The combined physical and psychological impact of these parameters on thermal comfort is mathematically described in various comfort models. The current comfort models, while use extensive human comfort data, may not be applicable in all world regions due to environmental conditions and people’s expectations. The State of Kuwait has a population of 2.5 million inhabitants with majority of people living in a few populated cities with heavy vehicle traffic, office buildings, factories, petroleum operations, and shopping centers. During the summer months (especially in July and August) the temperature reaches 48 °C in the afternoon, and can sometimes exceed 55 °C requiring extensive use of air conditioning. The traditional clothing (Disdasha) is made of lightweight, white, fabric material to provide some level of comfort. To better understand the regional preferences and assess the applicability of the standard comfort models in Kuwait, important parameters influencing human thermal comfort were measured in ten different government offices and the corresponding PMV indices were calculated. The results were compared with other comfort indices to obtain the most viable comfort index and the appropriate temperature range for local comfort for Kuwait offices. This study is not only important for comfort evaluations but also for evaluation of energy consumption in office buildings.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME

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