SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 22, May 31, 2007

UPDATE: GLAZED WINDSHIELD KEEPS DRIVERS COOL AND IMPROVES FUEL ECONOMY

Earlier this month it was reported in eNews that PPG had just released its Sungate EP automotive glass windshield, which they said significantly reduces the transmission of solar energy into a vehicle, keeping the interior cooler and improving fuel economy. The new technology employs a glazing process built into Sungate windshields, which reduces front seat temperatures 27 degrees F (15 degrees C) and air-breath temperatures 16 degrees F (9 degrees C). This reduces air-conditioner workload, along with fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions, the company said.

Some SEMA members raised some questions about this new technology. Specifically, the question was asked whether the glazing interferes with radar detectors. According to PPG, the coating used in the Sungate windshield does interfere with a directional signal, such as a radar detector. However, the company has taken a measure to prevent the use of radar detectors in Sungate EP windshield-equipped vehicles.

"We have made provisions for that capability with deletions of the coating in the targeted areas of the windshield where the relevant signals are present," noted Mukesh Rustagi, general manager market manager of automotive OEM glass products for PPG Industries. He goes on to say that the technology is similar to what they already use in the Mercedes Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-Series, both of which have these deleted areas that enable the radar detectors to work through the windshield.

"The benefits of the Sungate windshield, and now of the Sungate EP windshield, are clearly noticeable to the consumer when they enter a vehicle that has been parked in the sun. The initial comfort level is better and the time to cool down is much faster when the vehicle is equipped with a Sungate windshield," Rustagi says.

Source: SEMA Research & Information Center