School of Engineering and Materials Science
Research Student Awards
PhD Thesis: Temperature and comfort monitoring systems for humans
Author: GARCIA SOUTO, Maria del Pilar
Supervisor(s): Peter Dabnichki
Thermoregulation system and human body responses, both physiological (i.e. skin and core temperature) and psychological (thermal sensation and thermal comfort), have been of considerable interest to researchers. However, while reactions to extreme conditions are well understood and explained, there is a considerable knowledge gap for mild temperature range adaptation. Previous research focused on the whole body response, while local analysis is more appropriate for a new generation of intelligent thermal control systems such as needed in planes. Furthermore majority of previous studies were carried out predominantly on mannequins or with subjects placed in highly controlled lab chambers, hence adaptations in normal shared spaces is not investigated in sufficient depth. In addition, no study investigated infants’ temperature adaptation. This thesis describes the comprehensive study of the human temperature distribution in selected areas, both for adults and infants under the age of 2. Furthermore, variation of core and local skin temperature, thermal sensation and level of comfort due to long periods of inactivity were also investigated in adults. These studies have set the basis for the development of temperature monitoring systems. The first monitoring system specific to children under 2 provides fever detection based on skin temperature measurement. It was developed for a Spanish textile company (AITEX), and it is a patent under consideration. The second system monitors level of comfort and thermal sensation of adults in indoor environments. The system is based on pre-existing statistical studies and Fanger’s steady-state model. It adapts to the individual while analysing real time skin temperature distribution, and identifies.