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Looking at the Toyota brochure, I see that "High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass" is a standard feature, but looking at an actual vehicle it seems to not be tinted glass. In fact, Honda's competitive comparison notes that they have tinted glass whereas it is not available on the Prius. I have also read under other topics that the dash gets incredibly hot when the car is parked or driven in sunlight.

Does anybody have insight on this HSEA glass and whether it is effective and how it is supposed to work? I have not yet bought a Prius and I am a bit concerned, living in Texas, about sun shielding capability. 8)
 

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I don't know of a car made whos dash does not get hot in the sun. Thats why there has been such a large sun shield market for the past forty years. People in the south experienced this first and started with the inexpensive tinting, sun shields and only buying "white" cars. Glass does not have to be tinted to be solar absorbing. Check all the new "high rises. Ditto aircraft windshields. They have had solar absorbing glass since they have been driven by jet engines. As far as hot dash boards, if a shield is used while parked and the A/C used upon driving there should be no need of any type of mat, except maybe for color! Tinted glass while looking "cool" does not do the job as well as heat absorbing (really reflecting) glass and Honda has taken the inexpensive method and advertised it, not as better but as installed. It doesn't cost as much! Check out HSEA glass on Google.
 

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Yeah, basically it absorbs heat so that less radiation is transmitted through to the interior of the vehicle. Technically, all new cars have tinted glass (Usually green but blue on some mercedes). If you're in Texas, darker tints might help alleviate the heat problem otherwise get a good sunshade for the windshield. Rear sunshades (power and non-power) are available too
 

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HSEA glass

Re: Does anybody have insight on this HSEA glass and whether it is effective and how it is supposed to work?

HSEA glass contains a little more iron than normal automotive glass (giving a slight greenish tint). The addition of iron to the glass causes more absorption of infrared energy. Unfortunately, the sun emits a large amount of energy as visible light, so the dash still heats up in the sun. HSEA glass reduces the "greenhouse" effect in your car a little better than normal automotive glass, but doesn't eliminate all solar heating. HSEA is a premium product.

04 Salsa Red (wife's)
05 Driftwood Pearl (mine)
 

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Another thing it does is block the UV light that activates my Transition Lenses for my eye glasses.
 

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You will not get much heat from visible light. You get heat from IR (infrared light).

At work we have spectrometers that go from about 0.185um to around 50um. hand-waving, UV is around 0.185u to around 0.350u, visible around 0.400u (blueish) to around 0.800u (redish), near IR starts around 0.800u and goes to far IR past about 15u. Putting my hand in the light beam on the spectrometer that goes from 0.185-2.5u I don't feel anything on my hand. Put my hand in the light beam on the spectrometer that goes from 2-50u (honestly we only usually have it in the 2-15u range most of the time), and you can feel the warmth of the beam. (This technique is often used to check if the chart recorder is on...)
 

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I live in Arizona and find the HSEA glass to work well so far. Most people here do tint their windows and my previous cars had the same. However, this seems to be working well so far without additional tinting.
 

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HSEA glass

DanMan32 is correct that visible EMR can be converted to IR. If you look at the solar spectrum, most of the sun's energy is in the visible wavelengths. That energy is absorbed by dark items, which heat up and emit long wavelength energy (IR).

I work for the largest glass company in the world, and we make several versions of an HSEA type of glass. We make about 20,000 tons of glass per day worldwide (only about 5000 tons per day in the United States).
 

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There's a record I had when I was a kid that taught about weather using jingles. David Letterman featured it briefly on one of his shows about 10 years ago. One was about how the earth is heated. Started talking about how a greenhouse works, then applied that to the earth, where the upper atmosphere acts like greenhouse glass.

I wish I had the lyrics, but I still have the album, and it has been transferred to CD.
 

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I have an older Audi A6 with the hot weather package, and what I think is HSEA glass (they didn't call it that back in 1998). Our mobile phones have bad reception inside the vehicle when the windows are up. We have to roll a window down to use the phone. An exterior phone antenna would solve this problem, though.
 
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