Solutia: advanced solar control, range extension technologies on show

Solutia Inc. showcased its heat-reducing technologies for automotive laminated glass applications during the 2012 SAE Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Symposium. These technologies … “reduce the rate at which the sun heats up a vehicle by preventing solar energy from penetrating vehicle glass without sacrificing driver visibility.”

Solutia Inc. featured Saflex® S series advanced solar absorbing polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayers and XIR® reflective film products during the 2012 SAE Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Symposium, which took place 21-24 February, in San Diego, California. The company showcased both heat-reducing technologies for automotive laminated glass applications during the four-day event.
“XIR reflective films and Saflex S series interlayers provide cost-effective opportunities to extend range in hybrid electric and pure electric vehicles,” said Tom Selm, global business director for Solutia’s Advanced Interlayers division. “Both product technologies reduce the rate at which the sun heats up a vehicle by preventing solar energy from penetrating vehicle glass without sacrificing driver visibility.” When a vehicle starts off cooler or gains less heat while driving, the air conditioning (A/C) system uses less power to achieve and maintain a desired cabin temperature. This allows automotive designers to use smaller and lighter A/C systems, which also allows electric vehicles the ability to increase the driving range for each charge.
Simulations and analysis conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) show that A/C use on a pure electric vehicle can decrease its driving range by 15-40%, depending on frequency of A/C usage and unit size. NREL studies also show that advanced solar control technologies, such as XIR reflective films and Saflex S series solar absorbing interlayers, can reduce cabin temperatures by approximately 13-26°F, depending on location. When taking into account the potential reduced A/C usage, this can translate into improved vehicle range compared to a standard windscreen.
“With the current focus on developing high fuel economy hybrid and electric vehicles, the energy load of the A/C system is of increasing significance,” said Matthew Rose, automotive market manager for Solutia’s Advanced Interlayers division. “This increased range performance reduces consumers’ current ‘range anxiety’ and improves start/stop functionality of the vehicle, extending battery life.”
Additionally, OEMs have adopted new onboard comfort and convenience features, such as active sensors, telematics and connectivity options. These options also draw power from a finite source, further limiting range.
“Alternative propulsion vehicles are here to stay, and regardless of which technology becomes prevalent, we will continually see demand for range extension,” said Michael Johnson, XIR market manager for Solutia’s Advanced Interlayers division. “By reducing the significant A/C power draw, more power can be made available for additional electronic features.”
Automotive laminated glass incorporating XIR film and Saflex S series technologies are drop-in solar control solutions that can also provide improved cabin comfort, fuel efficiency and CO2 emission reductions on internal combustion (ICE) vehicles. Additionally, automotive OEMs can receive EPA credit for using these technologies due to reduced emissions from increased ICE efficiency. Solutia solar control products can be used in automotive glazing applications including the windscreen, sunroof, back lites and side laminate applications.