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Numerical Simulation for the Thermal Comfort of Car Occupants

Toru Takabayashi, Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., 426-1, Sumita, Aikawa-Machi, Aiko-gun, Kanagawa, Yoshiichi Ozeki Asahi Glass Research Center, 1150, Hazawa-cho, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama-city, Kanagawa

1 = Simulation 2 = Solar-reduction 3 = Comfort 4 = Prediction Firstly, we input the position of the automobile (latitude, longitude), direction of automobile and the date of computation (month, date, hour, minute) and then compute the solar radiation reaching inside and outside body surface (direct, diffused sky, and diffused reflection on the ground and internal multiple reflection). The absorbed solar energy in the cabin is stored as data file of thermal boundaries information in surfaces. On the other hand, boundary elements of vehicle model are separated into several groups that have same properties. We input the thermal properties of the bodies to the surface models consisting of the automobile boundaries. Then our system automatically assigned the properties in the surface models to the boundary elements. These properties are absorptivity, transitivity of solar radiation, thermal conduction and thickness of the walls, etc. Next, we input the calculation conditions including the power of airconditioning, human conditions and the driving condition such as running speed and so on. Angle factors must be precalculated to predict the radiative heat transfer on the boundary elements. As the angle factors depend upon relative locations among all boundary elements, it takes a lot of time to calculate all view factors in the calculation domain. We have already succeeded to develop the method that can reduce the computation time in calculating the view factors. Finally, we can simulate the airflow and temperature fields by the combined analysis of CFD, radiation and thermal regulation models to get several other output data, which leads to the evaluation of the thermal comfort in the vehicles. Prediction accuracy of our system is confirmed in several air-condition modes (A.Fujita et. al, in references).

Thermal comfort for car occupants is important factor for automotive design. We have been developing the numerical simulator to predict and evaluate not only the thermal environment but also thermal comfort in vehicles. In this simulation, firstly distribution of solar radiation energy through the glass can be calculated actually, then temperature and air flow distribution, and human comfort can be computed by a combined analysis of CFD(computational fluid dynamics), thermal radiation and body temperature control model which corresponds to shapes of a vehicle and human body. The thermal environment differences between solar reduction glass and normal glass should be clear, which makes the effects of functional glass clear from the view point of human comfort. In this simulator, a lot of factors can be evaluated. Physical factor such as skin temperature, thermal sensation such as SET* value and more. These are the indices of human comfort evaluation. Using this simulator, it was confirmed quantitatively that Asahi Glass’s solar reduction glass could reduce the air-conditioning power than normal glass in summer condition. This result shows the latest value of automotive glass depending on human feelings.

of glass, calculation condition such as air-conditioning and outside ambient condition, and so on. Physical values and index can be calculated as follows; 1. Solar energy absorption 2. Air temperature distribution 3. Air flow distribution 4. Distribution of interior surface temperature 5. Heat balance on body surfaces 6. Physiological distribution (skin temperature, perspiration, blood flow, shivering etc.) 7. Thermal comfort index for passengers, etc. The recent normal green glass has solar reduction property itself because its Te (solar energy transmittance) is 30% less than clear glass that was an old standard color for automotive glazing. Our solar reduction glass has higher function on solar energy protection. It was difficult to find out the differences between normal green glazing and solar reduction glazing by merely comparing air-temperature. New numerical simulation method for evaluating passenger’s thermal comfort is highly required for this purpose.

Outline of thermal environment analysis system
This simulation system is based on the FEM, which has a big advantage for complicated cabin geometry. Therefore, this system can easily be applied for the calculation of automotive field and theoretical prediction in complex shape of cabin. Typical simulation model of SUV type is introduced as shown in Figure 1 with one passenger on the driver position. Any type of vehicle models can be prepared if CAD data is available.

In recent years, various types of solar reduction glass are introduced to the market, but a high quality solar reduction glass is still expected to be applied to automobiles, in order to save the energy of air conditioning and make comfortable environment for passengers. However, it is difficult to predict the thermal environment and thermal comfort in an automobile at designing stage. We have been developing a numerical simulation method for this purpose. This numerical simulation method provides various kinds of information concerning thermal environment in cabins and comfort for human by modeling configuration of vehicle, thermo-physical properties, variations

The case of Windshield
The performance in front windshield is demonstrated by comparing between normal green glass and functional glass using SUV type model. The calculation conditions and glass properties are shown in Table 1. In this condition, the passenger received direct solar radiation only through the windshield.

Figure 1 Typical SUV model with one passenger on the driver position

Session 20

including the thermo regulation of driver and other calculation results. the right side passengers received direct solar radiation through the sidelite. for example. a function to reduce solar radiation through the glass.5 of TSV (Thermal Sensation Vote) shown in Table 2. The difference of average air temperature was only 0. Temperature distributions of inside surface between normal green glass and solar reduction glass are compared based on the solar energy absorption in Figures 4. however the difference of Teq value at the breast was 1. a passenger receives various kinds of thermal conduction effects. Table 1 Calculation conditions and glass properties Figure 3 Calculated distribution of solar energy absorption Figure 4 Calculated distribution of inside surface temperature Session 20 Figure 2 Solar reduction windshield (reflection type) Figure 3 shows the distributions of solar energy absorption on the model surface under the condition of facing south. Our solar reduction glass can reduce about 20% or more solar energy absorption than normal green color glass. . Teq allows us to evaluate partial feelings as well as the whole body feeling taking 472 Figure 5 Calculated distribution of Teq index on passenger’s body Table 2 Scale of Thermal sensational vote various kinds of thermal comfort factors into consideration.5 degrees Celsius. We must consider all factors that affect human feeling to show the performance of our functional glass. This type of windshield cuts solar heat effectively while transmitting visible wavelength of light at almost the same level as normal windshields. Teq is derived by the heat balance depends on clothing. solar heat through the glass and air temperature inside the cabin. Teq. Figure 5 shows the result of Teq by comparison between normal green glass and solar reduction glass under the same air-conditioning settings. In this paper. a direct touch to the seat and the hot steering. The case of sidelite The performance in sidelite glazing is demonstrated by evaluating the value of functional glass in SUV type model with four passengers. suggesting that solar reduction through the glazing affects on thermal comfort. “solar reduction glass” shows its value. In this case. In general. In this situation. which runs up to the value in rank 0. Our solar reflective windshield has special solar radiation reflective coatings as shown in Figure 2. infrared radiant heat from other components. The calculation conditions and glass properties are also shown in Table 3.In summer condition. equivalent temperature evaluation that is one of indexes for human sensible temperature is considered to be suitable for the evaluation of the non-uniform climate.4 degrees Celsius.

Whole body feeling is evaluated with SET* taking various kinds of thermal comfort factors into consideration. We calculated cooling down situation and compared between normal green glass and solar reduction glass.0 or more degree lower than normal green glass. This paper shows the applications of our method for vehicles. In this calculation. According to calculation results. That’s why the regulation of over 70% transmittance of visible wavelength in front sidelite. However SET* value in case of solar reduction glass was kept in 1. Solar reduction glass could reduce solar energy in any time 10% or more. a driver and a rear-sheet passenger. our simulation system could suggest the problem of thermal comfort for forward seat passengers.8 degrees Celsius. the difference of SET* value between normal green glazing and solar reduction glazing (= 0. Figure 9 shows calculated result of solar energy absorption in each time. Table 3 Calculation Conditions and Glass Properties Table 4 Calculated SET* evaluation Figure 6 Calculated distribution of solar energy absorption Table 5 SET* evaluation in each air-conditioning power at the rightside rear passenger Figure 7 Calculated distribution of air temperature Table 6 Calculation Conditions and Glass Properties Figure 8 Calculated air flow pattern SET*. After cooling down. Therefore human received much solar radiation through the front sidelite. According to this simulation. Combined computation of the radiation field. Table 4 shows the results of SET* obtained by comparison between normal green glass and solar reduction glass at the position of right side of compartment. solar reduction windshield can reduce 473 Session 20 .Figure 6 shows the distributions of solar energy absorption under the condition of facing south.5) was smaller than the difference of SET* value at the rear rightside sheet passenger position (= 1. solar reduction glass can reduce about 30% air-conditioning power than normal green color glass to get same feeling for right side of rear-sheet passenger. the average air temperature became almost same as shown in figure 11. The calculation conditions and glass properties are shown in Table 6.5). Air temperature distributions and airflow patterns between normal green glass and solar reduction glass are compared based on the solar energy absorption in Figure 7 and Figure 8. the convection field and thermoregulation of the human body makes it possible to supply not only the detailed information about the glass but also useful information for our customers in their automotive glazing process. It means the reduction of direct solar radiation to passenger affects strongly human feelings. The effects of functional glass on the reduction of air-conditioning power are investigated in SUV type model with four passengers as shown in Table 5. Figure 9 Calculated solar energy absorption Summary A numerical simulation system for the evaluation of thermal environment and thermal comfort was developed in a vehicle. Therefore the maximum difference of average air temperature between 2 cases was 1. The difference of average air temperature between these 2 cases was 0.5 degree of Celsius as shown in figure 10. Cool down simulation One of the most uncomfortable situation for passenger is after soaking in summer condition. At the driver position. which is one of indices for human sensible temperature. which indicates front sidelite is more difficult to insulate the solar energy effectively than rear sidelite or backlite.

“Numerical comfort simulator for thermal environment (Part 1)” ... [9] Bohm. 02HX-12. SAE2002. and Nilsson. including driving conditions. 1997.M. and Noren.I.O.H. and Konishi.M.A. pp.. Nilsson.. [10] Currle. pp..A..L. Takabayashi. 02HX-59. 474 .K.. pp. Kanemaru.J.. “An effective temperature scale based on a simple model of human physiological regulatory response”. SAE paper. 2000.. Bohm. and Ozeki.H.I..S.Y.S.P. Copenhagen.J. SAE paper..S. functional glass glazing could reduce about 30% air-conditioning power to get same SET* value environment than normal green color glass for passenger who received direct solar radiation through the glass. 2002.J. pp. [4] Gagge.Y. and Nishi. Tanabe..H. 1971. [6] Fujita. Ozeki. JSAE Review 22.163-172.O. and Maue. 1993.O. Ozeki. 2002.. “pecial glazing to improve the thermal climate in cabs”.5 degrees Celsius of SET* in the evaluation of whole body at the position of rear sheet passenger. Brown. various kinds of conditions. “A comprehensive combined analysis with multi-node thermoregulation model (65MN).1.. 1970. 4th International Conference and Exhibition.J..M. 2001. Stolwijk. SAE2002. [5] Fanger.Y.. ASHRAE Transactions Vol. 2nd International Conference on Vehicle Comfort. [8] Holmer.77(1). cooling and heating..39-47...T. Danish Technical Press. radiation model and CFD for evaluation of thermal comfort”. and Madsen. pp.122-134. Nakano.Y..A. “valuation and measurement of thermal comfort in the vehicles with a new thermal manikin”.247-262... 2001. [2] Takabayashi.. pp..295-302. Noren. 1992. “umerical simulation method Session 20 to predict the thermal environment inside a car cabin”. and any environmental conditions in the world.5 degrees Celsius of Teq at the position of driver’s breast facing direct solar radiation in summer condition.S. Figure 10 Calculated transient air temperature Figure 11 Calculated transient SET* evaluation References [1] Ozeki. This simulation system also can be applied to a wide variety of applications. Furthermore. [7] Matsunaga.“Nakagawa.. International Conference on Moving Thermal Comfort Standards into the 21st Century.A.1-8.35-43. and Tanabe..K. “Numerical comfort simulator for thermal environment (Part 2)” . Holmer..T.Y.T..J. Solar reduction sidelite can reduce 1. Sudo. “valuation of thermal environment in automotive vehicles”.. This simulation system is a useful tool to understand how the functional glass contributes to thermal comfort for a driver and passengers.. “Thermal comfort”. Kobayashi.. ”Numerical study of the influence of air vent area and air mass flux on the thermal comfort of car occupants”.P. [3] Tanabe. pp..F.. and Tanabe.J. any type of vehicles.