Human projected area factors for detailed direct and diffuse solar radiation analysis

Int J Biometeorol. 2004 Nov;49(2):113-29. doi: 10.1007/s00484-004-0214-6. Epub 2004 Jul 20.


Projected area factors for individual segments of the standing and sedentary human body were modelled for both direct and diffuse solar radiation using detailed 3D geometry and radiation models. The local projected area factors with respect to direct short-wave radiation are a function of the solar azimuth angle (alpha) between 0 degrees < alpha<360 degrees and the solar altitude (beta) angles between -90 degrees < beta<+90 degrees . In case of diffuse solar radiation from the isotropic sky the local human projected area factors were modelled as a function of the ground albedo (rho) ranging between 0< rho<1. The model was validated against available experimental data and showed good general agreement with projected area factors measured for both the human body as a whole and for local quantities. Scientists can use the equations to predict the inhomogeneous irradiation and absorption of direct and diffuse solar radiation and UV-radiation at surfaces of the human body. In conjunction with detailed multi-node models of human thermoregulation the equations can be used to predict the physiological implications of solar radiation and outdoor weather conditions on humans.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Climate
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Solar Energy*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*