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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 639867, 15 pages
Research Article

Assessment on Time-Varying Thermal Loading of Engineering Structures Based on a New Solar Radiation Model

1Key Laboratory of Roadway Bridge and Structural Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007, China
3Zhongshan Power Supply Bureau, Guangdong 528400, China

Received 25 December 2013; Revised 9 February 2014; Accepted 10 February 2014; Published 18 March 2014

Academic Editor: Ting-Hua Yi

Copyright © 2014 Bo Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper aims to carry out the condition assessment on solar radiation model and thermal loading of bridges. A modification factor is developed to change the distribution of solar intensities during a whole day. In addition, a new solar radiation model for civil engineering structures is proposed to consider the shelter effects induced by cloud, mountains, and surrounding structures. The heat transfer analysis of bridge components is conducted to calculate the temperature distributions based on the proposed new solar radiation model. By assuming that the temperature along the bridge longitudinal direction is constant, one typical bridge segment is specially studied. Fine finite element models of deck plates and corrugate sheets are constructed to examine the temperature distributions and thermal loading of bridge components. The feasibility and validity of the proposed solar radiation model are investigated through detailed numerical simulation and parametric study. The numerical results are compared with the field measurement data obtained from the long-term monitoring system of the bridge and they shows a very good agreement in terms of temperature distribution in different time instants and in different seasons. The real application verifies effectiveness and validity of the proposed solar radiation and heat transfer analysis.