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Volkswagen figured out a way to make windscreen heated without visible wires

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Posted January 29, 2017

Winter is still here and may still provide some unpleasant surprises for the motorists. It really is very annoying to deal with a frozen windscreen every morning. Rear window of the car usually has a defrosting system, but it cannot be used in the front windscreen because of visible wires. Now Volkswagen came up with a solution – climate windscreen, which heats up without the use of any filament wires.

Silver layer does not interfere with visibility, quickly heats up the windscreen and protects the cabin from getting too hot in summer. Image credit: volkswagen-media-services.com.

Filament wires going across your front windscreen would not actually interfere so much with visibility, but they would drag your focus. Your eyes cannot focus on a completely clear glass, but they can on filament wires. Therefore, it would be a bad solution. Volkswagen’s climate windscreen does without them and also prevents renewed misting or icing up. Interestingly, it is possible to make filament wires so thin that they are pretty much invisible, but it is still not good enough for Volkswagen standards. In direct sunlight or when facing oncoming evening traffic even these fine metal wires become visible.

And so Volkswagen created an alternative. Instead of wires, there is a wafer-thin electrically conductive layer of silver within the laminated glass. It heats up very efficiently using electric current, although not much – no more than 400 to 500 watts. Such windscreen will quickly defrost, allowing drivers to forget about flimsy plastic scrapers and long preparation every day before a trip to work. It means that people will be able to get out of bed later and still will not get late to work. Which is always good news.

However, people should consider getting this interesting windscreen not only because of harsh winters. This extremely think silver layer will also work as a passive heat shield in summer keeping the cabin much cooler. In fact, Volkswagen says that it is able to reduce the inside temperature by up to 15 degrees more than conventional glass with green tinting, which means that air conditioning system does not have to work as hard. As a result, car can save some energy and the owner does not need to spend as much on fuel. However, the special windscreen itself is not exactly cheap – its price starts from €340, but is likely to get higher, depending on the model of the car.

Still it will eliminate the hustle of scraping frost off the windscreen every winter morning. And considering that – no more cold hands, no more unusually early mornings, less heat in the car in summer – the price is actually pretty good.

Source: Volkswagen

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