Picture this for a minute: a man standing
with one foot in a bucket of ice
water and the other in a bucket of scalding
water heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Would he be comfortable? An
engineer operating by the book might
say yes, because the average temperature
of those buckets is a balmy 80 degrees.
Btu in equal Btu out. The "net heat
loss" or "net heat gain" by the man is
zero. Thermal equilibrium.
Scott Lewis of the Energy Design
Collaborative in New York used this
example at a recent conference of the
Northeast Solar Energy Association to
illustrate the frequent inconsistency
between quantitative energy performance
and performance in terms of
comfort. You and I know