Thermal Comfort Measurement System - TCOMSYS01 Hot Cube

TCOMSYS01 is an advanced measuring system designed to comprehensively analyze the factors influencing human thermal comfort. The TCOM01 body is stabilized at 33 °C, providing a direct measurement of the human experience using the innovative Hot Cube method.

Essentially, TCOM01 functions as a miniature thermal mannequin, measuring according to the innovative Hot Cube method. It offers detailed insights into heat gain and loss from different directions and is equipped with five heat flux sensors featuring black absorbers, providing valuable data on convective and radiative asymmetry.

Additional measurements include sensor body temperature, air temperature, and relative humidity. The standard configuration includes an MCU (Measurement and Control Unit) and a TCOM01 sensor, with direct connection options to any local area network and "Ethernet over USB." TCOM01 is also available as a standalone sensor.


Source: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

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Measurand heating power for stabilisation, heat flux (5x), ambient air temperature, relative humidity, TCOM01 body temperature
TCOMSYS01 specifications :
TCOM01 temperature setting 33 °C (user adjustable)
Included cable 2 x cable with 2 connectors (1.5 m)
Standard-rated operating temperature range +10 to +25 °C
Limiting temperature range - 25 to +50 °C
Required data analysis to be performed by the user
Data display in web browser
Start up interval < 10 min
TCOM01 specifications :
Weight 1.12 kg
Temperature sensor 10 kΩ thermistor
IP protection class IP65
Mounting tripod with ¼ inch -20 UNC screw; a Manfrotto Pixi EVO 2-section tripod is included
MCU specifications :
User interface on MCU as a web page
Connection via LAN or "Ethernet over USB"
Voltage measurement accuracy 4 x 10-6 V (0.8 W/m²)
Rated power supply voltage 10 to 16 VDC
Adapter power supply 100 – 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
Rated operating temperature range MCU - 25 to +50 °C
Data storage capacity 2 GB; > 1 year of data



  • TCOM01 sensor only
  • Extended rated operating conditions: temperature, irradiance, wind speed


Thermal Comfort Measuring System - A New Tool for Research and Education

TCOMSYS01 was initially developed to investigate the impact of radiation sources on human comfort. This system is equipped with heat flux sensors that measure from 5 different directions, along with a humidity and temperature probe.

It provides a comprehensive understanding of energy gains and losses from all sides to a metal body, replicating the thermal characteristics of the human body. Essentially, the TCOM01 sensor functions as a miniature thermal mannequin, offering valuable insights into human thermal experiences.

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

The TCOMSYS01 system utilizes specialized sensors and electronics to measure thermal comfort using the innovative Hot Cube method. The high accuracy of the Measurement and Control Unit (MCU) enables TCOMSYS01 to measure even at extremely low heat flux levels.

Housed in a sturdy aluminum casing, the MCU guarantees durability. The system generates a measurement file with a time stamp, storing the data within the MCU, which can later be downloaded to a PC. Users are responsible for data analysis.

How to Employ TCOMSYS01

The key information provided by TCOMSYS01 is the power [W] needed to maintain the TC0M01 sensor at a stable temperature, offering a direct measure of human comfort. This power can be compared to the power required under specific conditions: 20 °C ambient air temperature, no convection (zero wind speed), and no radiation.

By examining power consumption, it becomes immediately apparent whether there is a risk of overheating or heat stress, or conversely, overcooling or cold stress.

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

The second direct information supplied by the heat flux sensors of TCOMSYS01 is the heat loss or gain [W/m²] as a function of direction. If radiative sources are dominant, TCOMSYS01 will measure radiative asymmetry.

To study the exact effect of radiative sources, in many cases, a simple experiment, like switching a radiation source [on] and [off] or shielding a radiation source, can be used to distinguish between convective and radiative heat transport.

Far-infra-red radiation sources may be studied by temporary shielding with silicon wafer. Silicon has around 50 % transmission. Radiation from the sun or lamps may be quantified by shading and unshading.

To study the insulating effect of clothing, TCOM01 can be insulated using the same fabrics.

A web browser can be used to review real-time measurements, gather data, and change control parameters such as TCOM01 body temperature.


In 1929, A.F. Dufton introduced the Eupatheoscope (from Greek "well-being–emotion–examination") to evaluate room comfort. This device featured a regulated blackened cylinder maintaining a temperature of 23 °C. Power usage was converted into equivalent temperatures, offering a measure of the room's comfort level.

In 1990, Bruel & Kjaer also developed a thermal comfort meter (model 1212) following the same principle and incorporating Fanger's equation.

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

The new Hot Cube method, however, improves upon the previous models by integrating omnidirectional heat flux measurements, whereas the earlier models solely relied on integrated power measurement.

What Makes this Thermal Comfort Measuring System Different?

The primary determinants of thermal comfort are humidity, radiant temperature, air temperature, and airspeed. Personal factors like metabolic rate and clothing insulation also play a role.

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

Several studies employ Fanger's thermal comfort equation as specified in EN ISO 7730 for evaluating moderate thermal environments, determining the PMV and PPD indices, and defining conditions for thermal comfort. Alternatively, another approach involves measuring globe temperature as outlined in EN ISO 27243, specifically for hot environments. This method estimates heat stress on working individuals based on the WBGT Index (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature).

When estimating heat flow from airspeed and radiation, these approaches are fairly indirect.

  • TCOMSYS01 provided heat flux measurements. This method is much more direct than the indirect estimate based on airspeed and radiation.
  • TCOMSYS01 provides directional information
  • TCOMSYS01 operates at a realistic skin temperature of 33 °C (customizable by the user)

Rated Operating Conditions

TCOMSYS01 is designed for operation within the temperature range of +10 to +25 °C. In its standard configuration, where it remains uninsulated and stabilized at 33 °C, it is suitable for indoor conditions, including scenarios involving substantial radiative heating.

It will stabilize at 33 °C under one of the following conditions:

  • Irradiance <400 W/m2
  • Air speeds <5 m/second
  • Ambient air temperature >5 °C

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

Under different conditions, the sensor might struggle to stabilize its body temperature due to overheating (signifying overheating or heat stress) or a lack of electrical power (indicating overcooling or cold stress). Operated with low voltage, TCOMSYS01 is designed for safe usage.

TCOMSYS01 can be utilized for short-term outdoor experiments spanning several weeks. However, during prolonged exposure to solar radiation, the black heat flux sensor coating might become more reflective.

User Interface: MCU is a Web Server

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

The MCU acts as a web server and can be connected to any local area network without the need for USB drivers or specialized interface software. Alternatively, it provides an "Ethernet over USB" or virtual Ethernet connection, allowing you to link to the MCU using a USB cable. Simply enter the default IP address ( into your web browser to access the user interface.

Ordering the TCOM01 Sensor Only

TCOM01 is also available as a “sensor only” option, with the mannequin outfitted with 5 × heat flux, 1 × temperature, 1 × heater, 2 × cable, 2 × chassis connector, and 1 × tripod. The user must then integrate it with their own measuring and control system.

Presenting Hukseflux’s Hot Cube for Thermal Comfort Measurement

Image Credit: Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V.

Suggested Use

  • Bio-meteorology
  • Microclimate studies
  • Wind-chill analysis
  • Analysis of fabric insulation
  • Surveys of Human Thermal Comfort
  • Studies of the effect of radiating sources
  • Workplace investigations
  • Car passenger comfort testing
  • For educational purposes, illustrating heat transfer

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