Experimental and statistical survey on local thermal comfort impact on working productivity loss in university classrooms
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The paper presents an experimental analysis of the relationship between local thermal comfort and productivity loss in classrooms. The experimental investigation was performed in a real university classroom during the winter semester in Belgrade. Measurements were taken for four scenarios, with different indoor comfort conditions. Variations were made by setting the central heating system on/off, adding an additional heat source to provoke higher indoor temperatures, and measuring the radiant asymmetry impact. Innovative questionnaires were developed especially for the research, in order to investigate students' subjective feelings about local thermal comfort and indoor environmental quality. Local PMV and PPD indices were calculated using data measured in situ. The results were compared to existing models recommended in literature and European and ASHRAE standards. Student productivity was evaluated using novel tests, designed to fit the purposes of the research. Surveys were conducte...d for 19 days under different thermal conditions, during lectures in a real classroom, using a sample of 240 productivity test results in total. Using the measured data, new correlations between the PMV, CO2, personal factor and productivity loss were developed. The research findings imply that local thermal comfort is an important factor that can impact productivity, but the impact of the personal factor is of tremendous importance, together with CO2 concentration in the classroom. © 2018 Serbian Society of Heat Transfer Engineers.