TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, vol.2674, no.10, pp.461-474, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
The paper presents an investigation of local thermal comfort of passengers in a railway vehicle. The railway vehicle model includes five different parts called modules, and each module had different properties such as passenger capacity and seating arrangement. A virtual manikin model was developed and added to the numerical model which includes convection and radiation heat transfer between the human body and the environment. The numerical simulation was conducted according to the EN 14750-1 standard describing the thermal comfort conditions for different climatic zones. Two different cases were performed for steady-state conditions. Meanwhile, measurements were taken in a railway vehicle cabin to validate the numerical simulation, and the numerical results were in good agreement with the experimental data. It is observed that the local heat transfer characteristics of the human body have significant importance for the design of an effective heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system because each module had different heat transfer and air flow characteristics. It is also shown that the thermal sensation (TSENS) index helps railway vehicle HVAC researchers to determine the reasons for discomfort zones of each occupant. Another important result is that using a single air flow channel did not meet the thermal comfort demands of all passengers in this railway vehicle. Therefore, multiple air flow channel design configurations should be considered and developed for these vehicles. Local thermal comfort models allow HVAC systems to achieve better comfort conditions with energy saving. The numerical model can be used for effective module design, including seating arrangements, to achieve better thermal comfort conditions.