The Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association (EPGAA) has demonstrated the significant solar heat-reducing ability of laminated glass with advanced solar control technology. This glass has the ability to improve vehicle fuel efficiency by nearly 3% by reducing the need for air conditioning (A/C) power consumption in vehicles.
In an effort to educate legislators and regulators about the correlation between the benefits provided by laminated glass and reduced emissions and enhanced fuel efficiency, The Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association (EPGAA) has demonstrated the significant solar heat-reducing ability of laminated glass with advanced solar control technology during the SAE Government and Industry meeting 25-27 January, held in conjunction with the Washington D.C. Auto Show.
Such technology has demonstrated the ability to improve vehicle fuel efficiency by nearly 3% by reducing the need for air conditioning (A/C) power consumption in vehicles, as measured during drive cycle testing. By reducing A/C need, laminated glass can also improve the performance of emerging fuel efficiency technologies, such as engine start/stop, by keeping the vehicle cooler while stopped (i.e.- when the engine is off.). It can also contribute to increasing electric vehicle (EV) range and mitigating consumer “range anxiety” since A/C power consumption significantly reduces EV range. And with the proliferation of onboard vehicle electronics, reducing A/C consumption conserves the scarce available power to ensure seamless operation of vehicle electronics. The list of such features is growing: navigation, bluetooth and inter-car connectivity, active radar, lidar, IR, and ultrasonic sensors, rear seat entertainment (RSE) and consumer interfaces. Each feature draws power from the same 12-14 volts normally available in a car.
Since the current NHTSA drive cycle test to determine fuel efficiency does not measure the benefits from A/C efficiency improvements, the EPA has made it possible for automotive OEMs to receive “off-cycle” credits toward vehicle emissions when equipped with key technologies such as laminated glass with advanced solar control.
Laminated glass used in side window positions also reduces exposure to cancer-causing UVA radiation from the sun. Much of the sun’s UVA radiation easily passes through “normal” automotive tempered side glass, whereas laminated glass blocks over 99%. Now, vehicle windows can be an important measure to reduce UVA exposure, considering that millions of new diagnoses occur each year -and billions of dollars are spent in treatment- related to skin cancer.
“Automotive OEMs go to tremendous lengths to improve vehicle safety, security, efficiency, and emissions,” said Pete Dishart, Director, New Product Development and Emerging Technologies for Pittsburgh Glass Works and EPGAA President. “It is unusual to find a single, stand-alone technology like laminated glass which can support each of these objectives. It is truly unique that laminated glass can do this while also improving vehicle acoustic and NVH quality. We are excited that advanced solar control glass is positioned to grow into a key feature for consumers to consider during car purchases.”
Advanced solar control laminated glass is, by virtue of its construction, also considered enhanced protective glass. EPGAA will also discuss the benefits related to improved vehicle security and safety. enhanced protective glass is much more resistant to normal break-in attempts than conventional tempered glass often used in side windows. According to the EPGAA, laminated glass can protect the vehicle and contents for about 30 seconds – long enough to deter most would-be thieves. Even after the glass portion is broken, the plastic polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer of the laminated glass construction provides increased resistance against intruders. Laminated glass provides up to 10 times the penetration resistance of standard tempered glass.
Enhanced protective glass can also reduce the potential for occupant ejection from the vehicle, according to NHTSA. Being ejected from a vehicle can greatly increase the severity of injury during an accident. In fact, vehicle occupants are much more likely to be killed in an accident when ejected from their vehicle- an issue recently highlighted by NHTSA in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 226.
The Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association (EPGAA), composed of several major glass and laminate suppliers, provides information and education on the development of laminated glass for improved safety, security, health, fuel efficiency, emissions, and comfort.