California ARB Defers Regulations Requiring “Cool Paint”
29 March 2009
The Air Resources Board has revised its draft regulatory language for vehicle solar control requirements to specify only solar control requirements for new vehicles windows (glazing). The original proposed regulation contained requirements for both vehicle paint (“cool paint”) and windows to improve their ability to reflect heat from the sun.
|Image from a 2006 Toyota/AIST study comparing conventional and solar reflective paint (SRP). Source: Hashem Akbari, Berkeley Lab (2008). Click to enlarge.|
The earlier version of the proposed regulations triggered a wash of rumors and speculation (incorrect) on the Internet that ARB was going to ban black cars.
The Cool Cars action was identified as an Early Action strategy for the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32. Cool Cars, which is to be in place no later than 1 January 2010, is based on measures to reduce the solar heat gain in a vehicle parked in the sun. A cooler interior would make drivers less likely to activate the air conditioner, which in turn increases carbon dioxide emissions.
ARB noted earlier that potential approaches could include reformulation of paint to reflect near-infrared sunlight, parked car ventilation, and solar reflective window glazing. ARB said that cool paints, together with reflective glazing, could reduce the soak temperature of the typical vehicle parked in the sun by 5 to 10 ° C.
In a statement, ARB said that the intent of the paint requirements was to introduce reflective paint (currently used in architectural paints to keep houses and businesses cool) into the automotive arena. The requirement was never at any point to limit consumer color choices or ban any colors.
Based on input from the automotive industry, paint, pigment suppliers, and comments from a public workshop held on 12 March, ARB staff determined that a clear path to achieve solar reflectivity for the darker colors has not yet been identified. Staff plans to address the paint-related portion of the proposal in a future regulatory action.
Staff has also changed the glazing requirements from a reflective (Rds) to a Total Solar Transmission (Tts) specification. This metric more closely aligns with the proposal’s goal of limiting solar transmission into the vehicle.
Another way to accomplish this for those who choose a cooler ambient interior temp is to purchase cars painted in reflective colors, white, silver, gold or flaked.
And the positioning of purpose is subject to ridicule if they stick with the outdated CO2 story: "A cooler interior would make drivers less likely to activate the air conditioner, which in turn increases carbon dioxide emissions."
The successful positioning would be: "Cooler car interiors mean savings in energy consumed, lowering cost of ownership and helping achieve the goal of global energy independence."
Posted by: sulleny | 29 March 2009 at 09:41 AM
This rule would probably get every conservative that wants to drive a black car ranting in a hurry. Most people know that you should probably not drive a black car in Southern California. Those that do are obviously not getting the idea and probably never will.
So all you would hear is that big government is stopping free people from being idiots. Same old argument, even though importing tons of oil hurts us all. Some people do not want anyone telling them what to do. The right to harm others is a freedom to them.
Posted by: SJC | 29 March 2009 at 10:39 AM
I'll give up my hearst when the Govmint pries my cold dead fingers from the steering wheel.
Posted by: dursun | 29 March 2009 at 12:39 PM
Um dont conservatives generaly drive white cars? Ducks and hides....
Posted by: wintermane2000 | 29 March 2009 at 06:44 PM
You guys are something :)
Well, generalities aside, some folks take on quite a libertarian view, no matter what beliefs they have. I remember suggesting that pickup trucks be sold to those that use them for real work and huge outbursts from the people on this site came forth. You would have thought that I was taking away a fundamental right to drive a 10 mpg pickup do no real work with it and be wasteful...I guess I was.
Posted by: SJC | 29 March 2009 at 07:19 PM
Putting IR reflective pigment in paint would not only keep the car cooler, it would make the paint last longer (less heat to tear it a part). When I went to get my car repainted, I was told the paint product warranty would be void if an additional pigment was added to the paint. I emailed the tech dept at the paint company and they view such a pigment as something they'll develop later. There needs to be an incentive to develop it now. I only saw one commercial offering for IR reflective automotive paint pigment at Plasticolors. Incentives would promote more competition in this product field.
Posted by: jojotee | 31 March 2009 at 11:15 PM