Comfort limits for asymmetric thermal radiation

P. O. Fanger*, B. M. Ipsen, G. Langkilde, B. W. Olessen, N. K. Christensen, S. Tanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Groups of 32 and 16 subjects of both sexes were exposed in an environmental chamber to radiant asymmetry caused by a cool wall, a warm wall, and a cool ceiling. Each subject was tested individually while seated and clothed at 0.6 clo. During each 3.5-hour experiment the subject was exposed to six radiant temperature asymmetries. He was asked whether and where he experienced any local cool or warm sensation, and whether it was felt to be uncomfortable. During the entire experiment he was kept thermally neutral by changing the air temperature according to his wishes. For cool walls, warm walls, and cool ceilings curves have been established showing the percentage of dissatisfied subjects as a function of the radiant asymmetry. Radiant asymmetry at a warm wall caused less discomfort than a cool wall. A cool ceiling caused less discomfort than a warm ceiling. Accepting that 5% of the subjects may feel uncomfortable. a radiant temperature asymmetry of 10°C is allowable at a cool wall, 23°C at a warm wall, and 14°C under a cool ceiling. A previous study showed that 4°C is allowable under a warm ceiling. Radiant asymmetry had no significant impact on the operative temperatures preferred by the subjects. No significant differences were observed between the responses of men and women exposed to radiant asymmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1985 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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