Field study of thermal comfort in dwelling during the winter, mid-season and summer

Энергоэффективность, энергосбережение, возобновляемая энергетика

This research focused on adaptive thermal comfort in dwelling in the cold winter and hot summer climate zone of Russia. A field study was conducted throughout the three seasons (winter, mid-season and summer) beginning in September 2019 and ending in June 2020 in Volgograd (48°43.164′N, 44°30.108′E), Russia. The survey included simultaneous measurements of outdoor and indoor environmental parameters and an assessment of the participants’ sensations using questionnaires. The living room and bedroom of an apartment building for a family with a child were chosen as the research environment for indoor physical parameters and for administering the questionnaires. Only free-running thermal environments were considered in this research. The sensation ratings were analyzed, and thermal comfort temperature was calculated using regression methods. Results showed that in winter there were deviations in the thermal sensation, satisfaction, expectation of residents, and that they preferred a neutral cold environment. There were differences between the mid-season results and those of winter and summer. The thermal comfort assessment in premises under continental climate conditions should be based on thermal adaptation models. We calculated that the acceptable temperature range for residents in winter was 17.5–22.5 °C, 20–25 °C (with acceptable deviation of 2.5 °C) in mid-season and 22.5–27.5 °C in summer. The actual indoor relative humidity was almost within the applicable ranges (30–60 %) as well. The ASHRAE55-2013 and EN15251-2007 adaptive thermal comfort models are suitable for premises in mid-season and summer. The predictions of both mid-season and summer models were reliable. The main solutions to improve the indoor temperature conditions include heat flux control in heaters within the apartment in accordance with the adaptation thermal comfort model, as well as control of natural ventilation in winter. In this case it is predicted, that the reduction of total heating load is 24.2 %. Indoor thermal neutral temperature at the small energy demand in premises can be obtained by implementing the smart home concept. These results can be used to assess indoor thermal comfort in dwelling and help create friendly and energy efficiency building environments in Russia.