Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-3077

Effect of Solar Reflective Glazing on Ford Explorer Climate Control, Fuel Economy, and Emissions 2001-01-3077

The energy used to air condition an automobile has a significant effect on vehicle fuel economy and tailpipe emissions. If a small reduction in energy use can be applied to many vehicles, the impact on national fuel consumption could be significant. The SCO3 is a new emissions test conducted with the air conditioner (A/C) operating that is part of the Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (SFTP). With the 100% phase-in of the SFTP in 2004 for passenger cars and light light-duty trucks, there is additional motivation to reduce the size of the A/C system. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is investigating ways to reduce the amount of energy consumed for automobile climate control.
If the peak soak temperature in an automobile can be reduced, the power consumed by the air conditioner may be decreased while passenger comfort is maintained or enhanced. Solar reflective glass is one way to reduce the peak soak temperature. NREL and PPG Industries conducted a test program with Sungate® laminated solar reflective glass installed in a Ford Explorer to quantify improvements in fuel economy and reductions in tailpipe emissions. Test results showed a dramatic reduction in interior and glass temperatures. After the A/C system and its effect on the passenger compartment were modeled to assess the potential reduction in compressor power, the vehicle performance was predicted.


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