Human body radiation area factors for diverse adult population

Konrad Rykaczewski, Lyle Bartels, Daniel M. Martinez, Shri H. Viswanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Radiation accounts for a significant fraction of the human body and environment heat exchange and strongly impacts thermal comfort and safety. The direct radiative exchange between an individual and a source or sink can be quantified using the effective (feff) and projected radiation area factors (fp). However, these factors have not been quantified for half of the population of the USA with an above-average body mass index (BMI). Here, we address this gap by developing thirty male and thirty female computational manikin models that cover the 1 to 99 percentile variation in height and BMI of adults in the USA. The radiative simulations reveal that the feff and the fp angular distributions are nearly independent of gender, height, and BMI. Appreciable relative differences from the average models only emerge for manikins with BMI above 80th percentile. However, these differences only occur at low zenith angles and, in absolute terms, are small as compared to variations induced by, for example, the zenith angle increase. We also use the manikin set to evaluate whether the body shape impacts the quality of human representation with several levels of geometrical simplification. We find that the “box/peg” body representation, which is based on the hemispherical fp average, is independent of the body shape. In turn, the fp distributions averaged over the azimuth angle range, representing the rotationally symmetric humans, are only impacted to the same degree as for the anatomical manikins. We also show that the anatomical manikins can be closely approximated by the multi-cylinder and sphere representation, at least from a radiation perspective. The developed anatomical manikin set is freely available and can be used to compute how body shape impacts a variety of external heat transport processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2357-2367
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of biometeorology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Diverse body shapes
  • Effective radiation area factor
  • Human radiation geometry
  • Human radiative heat exchange
  • Projected area factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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