Green on Green Crime: Energy Efficient Windows Melt Toyota Prius
January 26, 2012 11:47 AM
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National Association of Home Builders has promised an investigation into heat-glare from window treatments
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How is reflected light concentrated?
1/26/2012 2:14:30 PM
I don't think I've seen a condominium with windows that appear concave from the outside, so presumably the reflected light would be no more intense than direct sunlight. In fact, it would ordinarily be less intense, as energy-efficient windows are designed to pass a fraction of the light, at least in the visible spectrum, and reflect the rest - otherwise a sheet of plywood would work equally well and be a lot cheaper. So it seems likely that the reflected light from the window strikes the car at a time when the car is also exposed to direct sunlight; doubling the effect of solar heating might well be enough to cause ABS melting.
If that is the source of the problem, I would also expect to see some damage to plants on the ground that are exposed to light reflected from the window and to direct sunlight at the same time - any light source capable of melting ABS should also do detectable damage to most living plants. No indication that anyone has looked for that sort of damage, though.
RE: How is reflected light concentrated?
1/26/2012 5:16:02 PM
Only a very slight curvature is needed to focus the light that is reflected, or multiple windows with slightly different angles could also act to focus the light.
It also looks like the doubling effect would not come into play since the carport is shading the mirror from overhead sunlight.
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