The Impact of Metal-free Solar Reflective Film on Vehicle Climate Control
The air-conditioning system can significantly impact the fuel economy and tailpipe emissions of automobiles. If the peak soak temperature of the passenger compartment can be reduced, the air-conditioner compressor can potentially be downsized while maintaining human thermal comfort. Solar reflective film is one way to reduce the peak soak temperature by reducing the solar heat gain into the passenger compartment. A 3M non-metallic solar reflective film (SRF) was tested in two minivans and two sport utility vehicles (SUV). The peak soak temperature was reduced resulting in a quicker cooldown. Using these data, a reduction in air-conditioner size was estimated and the fuel economy and tailpipe emissions were predicted.