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Exergy Analysis and Human Body Behavior

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This chapter describes two applications of the exergy analysis in order to evaluate the behavior of human body and its systems. In the first one, the exergy destroyed rate and the exergy efficiency of the human body and its systems are determined. The proposed human body thermal model was divided into 15 cylinders with elliptical cross-sections (which leads to realistic dimensions) representing: head, neck, trunk, arms, forearms, hands, thighs, legs, and feet. For each cylinder a combination of the following tissues was considered: skin, fat, muscle, bone, brain, viscera, lung, and heart. In the second study, a model of the human respiratory and thermal system developed to perform the exergy analysis of the human body under physical activities is described. The analysis quantifies the rate at which oxygen is supplied to the lung and transported by the blood to the tissues, and the rate of carbon dioxide elimination.

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A :

Body area (m2)


Adenosine triphosphate

B :

Exergy (J)

B :

Exergy rate/flow rate (W)

b :

Specific exergy (J/kg)

C :

Thermal capacity (J/K)

c p :

Specific heat at constant pressure (J/kg K)

f cl :

Ratio between the surface area of the clothed and the nude segment

H :

Enthalpy flow rate (W)

h :

Specific enthalpy (J/kg) and heat transfer coefficient (W/m2 K)

h lv :

Enthalpy of vaporization (J/kg)

M :

Metabolism (W)

M :

Mass flowrate (kg/s)

P :

Pressure, partial pressure (Pa)

Q :

Heat transfer rate (W)

R :

Gas constant (J/kg K)

R cl :

Thermal resistance of clothes (m2 K/W)

S :

Entropy rate/flow rate (W/K)

s :

Specific entropy (J/kg K)

s lv :

Entropy of vaporization (J/kg K)

U :

Internal energy (J)

T :

Temperature (°C, K)

t :

Time (s)

w :

Skin wettedness

W :

Power (W)

η :

Second Law efficiency

σ :

Steffan–Boltzmann constant (Wm−2K−4)

φ :

Relative humidity

ω :

Absolute humidity




Lung control volume


Tissue control volume


Environment air, ambient air


Arterial blood







CO2 :

Carbon dioxide






Expired, expired air




Liquid part of the blood





O2 :








t, ti:



Venous blood


Water vapor


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Correspondence to Silvio de Oliveira .

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de Oliveira, S. (2013). Exergy Analysis and Human Body Behavior. In: Exergy. Green Energy and Technology. Springer, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4471-4164-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4471-4165-5

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