Thermal comfort investigation of an outdoor air-conditioned area in a hot and arid environment

Ghani, Saud and Bialy, Esmail M. and Bakochristou, Foteini and Gamaledin, Seifelislam Mahmoud Ahmad and Rashwan, Mohammed Mohammed and Hughes, Ben (2017) Thermal comfort investigation of an outdoor air-conditioned area in a hot and arid environment. Science and Technology for the Built Environment, 23 (7). pp. 1113-1131. ISSN 2374-474X

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    Thermal comfort in hot and arid outdoor environments is an industrial challenging field. An outdoor air-conditioned area was designed and built to host sport and social events during summers 2014 and 2015 in Qatar. This article presents a thermal comfort analysis of the outdoor air-conditioned area using computational fluid dynamics, on-site spectators surveys, and on-spot climatic measurements. The study utilized computational fluid dynamics to develop a thermal comfort model of the outdoor air-conditioned area to predict the thermal comfort of the occupants. Five different thermal comfort indices; mean comfort vote, cooling power index, wet-bulb globe temperature index, Humidex, discomfort index, were utilized to assess the thermal comfort of spectators within the conditioned space. The indices utilized different on site measurements of meteorological data and on-site interviews. In comparison to the mean comfort vote of the sampled survey, all thermal comfort indices underestimated the actual thermal comfort percentage except the wet-bulb globe temperature index that overestimated the comfort percentage. The computational fluid dynamics results reasonably predicted most of the thermal comfort indices values. The computational fluid dynamics results overestimated the comfort percentage of mean comfort vote, wet-bulb globe temperature index, and discomfort index, while the thermal comfort percentage was underestimated as indicated by the cooling power index, and Humidex.