Author: H. Staiger, Andreas Matzarakis

Year: 2020

Published in: Atmosphere

The concept of the mean radiant temperature ( T mrt ) allows the study of radiative exchanges between a human and its environment. It presupposes that the radiant effects on the person of the actual environment, which is generally heterogeneous, and the virtual environment, which is defined as homogeneous, are identical. ISO 7726 specifies the required accuracy in  T mrt  as input of rational thermal indices, outdoors ±5 (K).  T mrt  accounts for the radiant heat absorbed by skin/clothing from the shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) spectral bands. Most of the radiant components are isotropic. However, there are anisotropic SW components; namely the direct irradiance and under clear or partly obstructed skies a significant circumsolar fraction ( f cs ) in the diffuse irradiance. Both originate from the close proximity of the solar disk. This study highlights the effect of  f cs  on  T mrt . In the scope of human biometeorology a standing body posture is standard. For unidirectional irradiances its radiant cross-section varies dependent on the solar altitude. Active radiometry in deriving  T mrt  is based on measured irradiances. One method is the Klima-Michel-Modell (KMM) that uses readily available measurements from standard meteorologically radiant observations. KMM references Fanger’s area projection factors that are derived from precise measurements of real humans. Thus, KMM serves as reference in evaluation of further methods. One is the six-directional instrument ( T mrt,r,6−Dir ). Slightly simplifying a standing human, it represents a subject as a rectangular solid.  T mrt,r,6−Dir  is derived based on measured irradiances incident on the vertical and horizontal planes. In passive radiometry the energy balance equation of a black globe thermometer is solved that leads to  T mrt,Tg,BG f cs  significantly impacts  T mrt  with noticeably reduced values for high and increased for low solar altitudes. Hence, accounting for  f cs  is essential for the accuracy of  T mrt . For KMM an extension to an existing algorithm is provided in order to include  f cs  into the  T mrt  calculation that results in  T mrt,r,KMM . For  T mrt,r,6−Dir  the radiant cross-section of the solid depends to a minor extent on its azimuth relative to the solar azimuth. As a result  T mrt,r,6−Dir  slightly scatters compared to  T mrt,r,KMM . However, it remains within ±2 (K).  T mrt,Tg,BG  compared to  T mrt,r,KMM  complies only at night with the ISO 7726 bin of ±5 K.  T mrt,Tg,BG  significantly overestimates  T mrt,r,KMM  during the daytime, because of its greater SW absorptance compared to skin/clothing and to a smaller extent because the standing posture is represented by a sphere. Particularly in sunny conditions,  T mrt,Tg,BG  is subject to considerable variance. Thus, outdoors during the daytime,  T mrt,Tg,BG  is unable to serve as an appropriate input for the calculation of rational-based thermal indices.

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