You wouldn't purposely toss your favorite CDs, expensive electronics or sensitive automotive gadgets into your oven and set it on broil for several hours. Yet, that's exactly what happens when you park your car in direct sunlight and leave your valuables inside. It's even worse if they're left in a high-exposure area such as the front seats or on the dashboard. What's more, excessive sun exposure causes cracks in leather, plastic and other finishes that make up your car's interior trim.
At about $20 to $40, a solar vehicle ventilator offers several potential benefits. For example, less work is required for your car's air conditioner to perform at vehicle start-up, you might benefit from a better-smelling car, and you can boast that your car is cooled by clean energy. A solar car ventilator won't block out ultraviolet rays that contribute to the deterioration of your car's interior, but it can increase airflow and make returning to your car on a scorching hot summer day a bit more bearable. Solar ventilators can also help evacuate offensive smells and the air humidity that fosters them.
Will one of these gadgets fit your ride? Probably. Most models on the market today include extendable or flexible skirts that allow easy mounting on practically any car or truck's window edge. Unlike louvers or window tints that also promote cooler vehicle interiors, you don't have to worry about altering the vehicle, which can become a real concern if you lease your car. And unlike window tint, which varies in legality from state to state, a solar vehicle ventilator can be used anywhere you park your vehicle, provided adequate sunlight is available for power. Keep in mind that your results may vary depending on several factors, including the sun's position and the quality of the ventilator you select.
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- Chen, Ming-Hsiung. "Vehicular Internal Fan Ventilator." United States Patent 4,986,169. Issued Jan. 22, 1991. (Accessed Jan. 25, 2009)http://patft.uspto.gov/
- How Solar Cells Work. GE Energy (Division of General Electric Co.). (Accessed Jan. 29, 2009) http://www.gepower.com/prod_serv/products/solar/en/how_solar_work.htm
- Lin, Paul. Solar Car Vents Keep You Cool. CNET.com. June 5, 2006. (Accessed Jan. 25, 2009) http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-6079960-7.html
- Toyota Camry Specs. Toyota Corporate Web Site. (Accessed Jan. 26, 2009) http://www.toyota.com/camry/specs.html
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