Development of a human thermal model to predict seat occupant thermal comfort
While heated and cooled seats used to be integrated only in luxury cars, a wider range of carmakers proposes now such seats for their midrange market too. The design of heated or cooled seats, as well as their optimization to effectively increase the thermal comfort of the occupant, is very complex. Each of the interactions between the occupant, the seat cover, the cushion foam, and the heating or ventilation systems has to be taken into account, as the thermal comfort feeling of the occupant, which is highly subjective.
The use of virtual seat prototyping to predict the thermal comfort of a driver seating in a heated or cooled seat enables to answer effectively such a car interior design challenge. However such simulations require the use of digital human models including human body thermal behavior and objective thermal comfort criterion.
This paper presents the latest developments performed on Virtual Seat Solution Human Models to include human thermal modeling and thermal comfort criteria. The developed human model is then used with a virtual seat prototype equipped with heating pad to predict the thermal comfort of the occupant in various configurations.