Derek Vissers, Wim Zeiler, Gert Boxem, Michal Vezely, Jacob Verhaart
Bibliographic info:
8th Windsor Conference, 10-13 April, 2014, Windsor UK

Thermal comfort, determined by the influence of the indoor environmental parameters on thermal sensation, is regarded as an important indicator of human wellbeing and health. Neurophysiological mechanisms are responsible for thermal sensation. Models of thermal sensation could be very useful in design of new high performance buildings. Humans do not sense temperature directly. Temperature information is coded into the firing rate of temperature sensitive neurons (thermoreceptors). Human skin contains two types of thermoreceptors “cold” or “warm” sensitive. Kingma developed a new model for thermal sensation based on the neurophysiology of thermal reception and integration through neural pathways. In a proof-of-principle experiment we applied the model of Kingma on an personalized hand-heating system using two incandescent reflector heating lamps. Using the model by Kingma and the results of the experiments, the neuron discharge rate was simulated to see if it captured the dynamics of thermal sensation.