California to require sun-blocking car windows

Jul 06, 2009 By Pat Brennan

New cars sold in California must include windshields that block or absorb the sun's rays beginning in 2012, the state's Air Resources Board recently ruled.

The new regulation is meant to keep cars cooler, cutting the need for air conditioning, saving energy and reducing emissions that contribute to , the agency says.

To meet the new rules, car windows will have to block 33 percent more of the sun's heat-producing rays than cars windows do today. Because the rays being blocked are in the infrared part of the spectrum, the windows would not require tinting, and will look no different from present-day car windows, said air board spokesman Stanley Young.

"It uses a very microscopic sputtering of that act as tiny invisible mirrors," Young said.

With more of the sun's heat blocked, cars interiors should be about 14 degrees cooler, SUV or pickup interiors about 12 degrees.

The reduction in use of air conditioning is expected to cut by 700,000 metric tons by 2020 -- the equivalent of taking 140,000 vehicles off the road for a year, the agency says.

The two-step regulation requires cars sold for the first three years to block 45 percent of the sun's heat-producing energy, windshields at least 50 percent; in 2016, car windows must block 60 percent.

The agency says it will cost an average of $70 for the first three years to comply, and $250 after 2016.

It's one of several measures adopted by the agency to cut , including a low-carbon fuel standard and a requirement that smog-check and other maintenance facilities check tire pressure.

___

(c) 2009, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.).
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User comments : 24

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vivcollins
3 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2009
Its a no brainer, why was this not done before and across all regions? the pay back time is minimal and the benefit huge
gopher65
3 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2009
vivcollins: Of course, in colder regions this would mean that you have to use more fuel to *heat* the vehicles. So it wouldn't make sense in Canada, or the northern US.

But California? Texas? Florida? Heck yes. Makes you wonder why they haven't been doing this before in those regions.
Pl0p
not rated yet Jul 06, 2009
We have this standard in EU. You can choose.
smiffy
not rated yet Jul 06, 2009
I wish that they'd said more about the physics that allows you to reflect the infra-red, whilst transmitting the visible light.
VOR
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2009
In combustion engine driven vehicles, HEAT IS ALWAYS 'FREE' DUH DUH DUH. Even in electric and hybrid vehicles, it is probably free as well, if designed well. (unless you are silly and talking about heating the vehicle while parked).
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2009
Most states have broad based legislation against window tinting as a crime preventative. Hence why it's not available on most vehicles.
DozerIAm
1 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2009
I wish that they'd said more about the physics that allows you to reflect the infra-red, whilst transmitting the visible light.

Check the website of any "low-e" replacement window manufacturer. Here is a link that is semi useful: http://www.askthe...s_.shtml
DozerIAm
1 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2009
Most states have broad based legislation against window tinting as a crime preventative. Hence why it's not available on most vehicles.

the legislation against window tinting tends to be regarding the degree of tinting, not the presence of it, and anyways the article says that the IR (heat) blocking aspect doesn't require tinting the windows - different wavelengths.
gopher65
5 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2009
VOR: You obviously do not live in a cold climate.

1) If you don't heat your car while parked, the battery(ies) either stop working completely, or don't work well. This means that you have to constantly heat the car while parked. This drains the battery, which in turn requires fuel to recharge after the car is turned on.

2) Engines do not immediately heat up when started in a cold climate. It takes ~15 minutes for the engine to get warm enough to start heating the vehicle (longer for a diesel). During that time you're either having no heat at all, or you're using a secondary heating source, which requires fuel to run. Given that nearly the entire population of the world drive less than 40 kilometres a day on average (work and back, or store(s) and back), that 15 minutes constitutes the vast majority of the driving time.

3) Electric engines produce *very* little heat in comparison to an internal combustion engine, and electric cars require secondary heaters in cold climates.

So, uh, you're just flat out wrong in everything you said.
Velanarris
not rated yet Jul 06, 2009
Most states have broad based legislation against window tinting as a crime preventative. Hence why it's not available on most vehicles.


the legislation against window tinting tends to be regarding the degree of tinting, not the presence of it, and anyways the article says that the IR (heat) blocking aspect doesn't require tinting the windows - different wavelengths.

Agreed and well aware, however, there are many that are so general as to leave automakers in a position where they cannot legally tint any window except the rear. So would it be cheaper to make vehicle for all 50 states, or make vehicles for sale in one state with interchangable windows.

As usual, California is putting the squeeze on the auto industry for something that will have a neglible result on end use.
mongander
not rated yet Jul 06, 2009
while at it, outlaw 'Dog Days', as did the Florida legislature 70 years ago.
GrayMouser
not rated yet Jul 06, 2009
California to require sun-blocking car windows

The immediate pun here would be to ask how you could see anything if all sun light was blocked...

On the other hand, why would they block IR from getting into the car? It's UV that causes the warming.
gopher65
not rated yet Jul 06, 2009
GrayMouser: Glass blocks UV almost completely.
Soylent
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2009
On the other hand, why would they block IR from getting into the car?


Because they want the car to be cooler.

It's UV that causes the warming.


There's nothing magical about UV. Whatever UV, visible and IR radiation that gets into the car and does not get reflected back out of the car will cause heating.

If you look at which wavelengths the sun's power output is in, very little is UV: http://www.nas.na...e2.3.gif

In addition, soda-lime glass will block significant parts of UV A and essentially all UV B and UV C.
Arkaleus
3 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2009
Has anyone considered actual human behavior? On days above 80 F, people use their air conditioners regardless of the interior tempurature of the car. If the car is 90F vs 104 F, the air conditioner is on full blast. This is an uneccessary mandate and an unjustified expense. A $15 solar powered window fan is more effective in reducing interior tempuratures on hot sunny days than some $350 windshield, which really would do very little to prevent a vehicle from heating up uncomfortably in direct sunlight. Why didn't they mandate some sort of vent fan? Maybe someone behind the legislation owns an interest in the glass treatment technology, or was paid large money by those interests to push the legislation.

Put these crazies in check before they start banning air conditioners, or making us pay extra for them, or some other kind of rubbish.
DozerIAm
1 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2009
You know what I miss? (yes this has some bearing on this discussion). I miss those little triangular swivel windows you could open and aim that car doors used to have, and the manual vent down by the floorboards all cars used to have. Neither required additional power to operate other than that already being used to propel the vehicle, and both significantly cooled the car. Nowadays the closes you have is running the fan on low with the a/c off, which still requires juice to power the fan. Just a thought, and yea on reflection it's not all THAT directly related to the article. But still, I wouldn't mind if my current car had those features.
dachpyarvile
not rated yet Jul 08, 2009
Wind-wings! Yeah, I absolutely miss those, too. Our last vehicle that had them died a couple years ago and the cost to repair it was more than it would cost to buy another vehicle.
dachpyarvile
not rated yet Jul 08, 2009
GrayMouser: Glass blocks UV almost completely.


UV-B and UV-C are blocked (UV-C is blocked most all by the atmosphere, anyway). Some of the shorter wavelengths of UV-A are also blocked. However, the longer wavelengths of UV-A are not, and those are also contributory to skin aging, damage, as well as the heating of the vehicle.
Nartoon
1 / 5 (1) Jul 12, 2009
In a related story, the California Air Resources Board has mandated that all vehicles driven in California after 2013 must be painted white.
Velanarris
not rated yet Jul 12, 2009
In a related story, the California Air Resources Board has mandated that all vehicles driven in California after 2013 must be painted white.
If this isn't a parody, I see california becomming the least populous state in the union.
dachpyarvile
not rated yet Jul 13, 2009
In a related story, the California Air Resources Board has mandated that all vehicles driven in California after 2013 must be painted white.
If this isn't a parody, I see california becomming the least populous state in the union.


Holy crap! This does not look a like a parody. I just looked at some data and a presentation on the subject. They look like they are also going to specify what kinds of window glazing vehicles can have on them as well as the types of paint with solar-reflective compounds will be compliant. Black definitely appears to be on the outs.

Sorry, but I like black cars. Glad I moved out of that insane state in a nick of time!

What is going to be really funny is that when they have done all they have and there is little to no change they are going to be scratching their heads trying to figure out what went wrong and why they crippled the economy for nothing...
dachpyarvile
not rated yet Jul 13, 2009
Hopefully they will not make this a requirement for all cars. From the rest of the presentation I think they realize that they are not going to be able to enforce this on everyone. For a read of the presentation itself, see:

http://www.docsto...ion31209
GrayMouser
not rated yet Jul 19, 2009
In a related story, the California Air Resources Board has mandated that all vehicles driven in California after 2013 must be painted white.

They've backed off on that:
http://latimesblo...ban.html
dachpyarvile
not rated yet Jul 20, 2009
I'm a little wary about the window coating, too. Some of the experimental coatings I have seen actually become a danger if you wear polarized sunglasses! I have seen reaction times delayed as much as a full second in tests. That is a fatal accident waiting to happen!

In the same vehicles a percentage of visibility was lost as well, and irritating patterns could be seen in the windows as a result. These also could create a distraction while driving. I certainly hope that they get their acts together and do a little more intense study before mandating such coatings.