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A Modified Approach to Analyze Thermal Comfort Classification

ABSTRACT

A thermal stress index of a geographic location over a period of time can provide knowledge of overall climate perceptible to the general public. Out of the three approaches to assessing thermal comfort namely, rational, empirical and direct, the direct approach is being used in the present study because of easy availability of all inputs and reasonable comprehension of the assessments. Assessment and ranking of cities using this approach based on the percentage of comfortable hours alone may however be erroneous and misleading as this approach does not consider the percentages of uncomfortable classes which could often be substantially high. The modified approach for thermal comfort classification demonstrates cumulative representation of all classes of thermal comfort including uncomfortablity and provides relative ranking of cities. Analysis of the results is presented here for five megacities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad) representing varying geographical and climatic locations of India. These cities are ranked based on the routine and modified approaches and results are discussed in detail on monthly, seasonal and annual average basis. When the cities are compared only on the basis of comfortable hours, the decreasing order of comfortability is Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. However, considering the second methodology, it is revealed that the contribution of uncomfortable hours is greater in Kolkata and Chennai in comparison to Mumbai. The proposed methodology could be an improvement over the current practices and provides a more rational method for relative ranking of cities that could be used for tourism and energy demands.

KEYWORDS


Cite this paper

M. Mohan, A. Gupta and S. Bhati, "A Modified Approach to Analyze Thermal Comfort Classification," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2014, pp. 7-19. doi: 10.4236/acs.2014.41002.

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