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Buildings 2017, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/buildings7010010

Real-Time Monitoring of Occupants’ Thermal Comfort through Infrared Imaging: A Preliminary Study

1
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, piazza Università 5, Bolzano 39100, Italy
2
Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environments, University IUAV of Venice, Venezia 30135, Italy
3
Institute for Construction Technology of the Italian National Research Council (ITC-CNR), Padova 35127, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gianpiero Evola
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 1 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
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Abstract

Thermally comfortable indoor environments are of great importance, as modern lifestyles often require people to spend more than 20 h per day indoors. Since most of the thermal comfort models use a variety of different environmental and personal factors that need to be measured or estimated, real-time and continuous assessment of thermal comfort is often not practically feasible. This work presents a cheap and non-invasive approach based on infrared imaging for monitoring the occupants’ thermal sensation and comfort in real time. Thanks to a mechatronic device developed by the authors, the imaging is performed on the forehead skin, selected because it is always exposed to the environment and, thus, facilitating the monitoring activity in a non-invasive manner. Tests have been performed in controlled conditions on ten subjects to assess the hypothesis that the forehead temperature is correlated with subjects’ thermal sensation. This allows the exploitation of this quantity as a base for a simple monitoring of thermal comfort, which could later be tuned with an extensive experimental campaign. View Full-Text
Keywords: occupant thermal comfort; thermal sensation; infrared imaging; mechatronic device occupant thermal comfort; thermal sensation; infrared imaging; mechatronic device
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pavlin, B.; Pernigotto, G.; Cappelletti, F.; Bison, P.; Vidoni, R.; Gasparella, A. Real-Time Monitoring of Occupants’ Thermal Comfort through Infrared Imaging: A Preliminary Study. Buildings 2017, 7, 10.

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