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Improving Cabin Thermal Comfort by Controlling Equivalent Temperature

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3855, e-ISSN: 1946-3901
Published November 10, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Improving Cabin Thermal Comfort by Controlling Equivalent Temperature
Citation: Curran, A., Peck, S., Schwenn, T., and Hepokoski, M., "Improving Cabin Thermal Comfort by Controlling Equivalent Temperature," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 2(1):263-267, 2010,
Language: English


An aircraft environmental control system (ECS) is commonly designed for a cabin that has been divided into several thermal control zones; each zone has an air flow network that pulls cabin air over an isolated thermocouple. This single point measurement is used by the ECS to control the air temperature and hence the thermal environment for each zone. The thermal environment of a confined space subjected to asymmetric thermal loads can be more fully characterized, and subsequently better controlled, by determining its “equivalent temperature.” This paper describes methodology for measuring and controlling cabin equivalent temperature. The merits of controlling a cabin thermal zone based on its equivalent temperature are demonstrated by comparing thermal comfort, as predicted by a “virtual thermal manikin,” for both air-temperature and equivalent-temperature control strategies.