Standard Procedures for Assessing Vehicle Climate with a Thermal Manikin 890049

This paper defines a “human requirements envelope” for the thermal environment in vehicles, based on a method of assessment that has evolved during 5 years of vehicle R&D with a thermal manikin. VOLTMAN is a clothed, full-size, articulated model of a seated adult male. The entire skin surface is divided into 19 sections, each section heated subcutaneously under multi-channel process-computer control to maintain a skin temperature distribution typical for sedentary comfort (Mean value 32.8°C). Total heat loss and the distribution of heat flow over the body surface can be accurately measured on-line. Total heat loss affects driver performance, and therefore safety, while sectional heat loss determines comfort, draught sensation, and the risk of cold-related muscular injury. On the basis of systematic comparisons of human and manikin response to the complex thermal environment in vehicles, standard procedures have been defined for assessing whether a given vehicle fulfils human requirements under specified operating conditions. Sectional heat loss is expressed as Equivalent Homogenous Temperature (EHT) by means of reference exposures to a homogenous, draught-free environment. Thermal asymmetry in a vehicle is then represented as an “EHT-Profile”. Ideal Profiles (IP) for vehicle occupants, differing between winter and summer, are proposed, and acceptable EHT-ranges for each body section (<20% dissatisfied), defined as Vehicle Comfort Regions (VCR) on the profile diagram. A figure of merit for a vehicle climate is available: SDIP, the standard deviation of an EHT-Profile from the relevant IP, the IP being positioned for this purpose so as to result in the same total heat loss as for the measured profile.


Subscribers can view annotate, and download all of SAE's content. Learn More »


Members save up to 17% off list price.
Login to see discount.
Special Offer: Download multiple Technical Papers each year? TechSelect is a cost-effective subscription option to select and download 12-100 full-text Technical Papers per year. Find more information here.
We also recommend:

A New Method for the Detailed Assessment of Human Heat Balance in Vehicles-Volvo's Thermal Manikin, VOLTMAN


View Details


A Review of Human Physiological, Psychological & Human Biomechanical Factors on Perceived Thermal Comfort of Automotive Seats.


View Details


Development of the AFRL Biodynamics Data Bank and Web User Interface


View Details