GM has filed a patent application for a new electrically heated windshield system. Heated windshields are useful for removing condensation and ice from the glass, improving outward visibility. The new GM patent describes a system that could heat a windshield more quickly and more effectively than a traditional defroster vent.
The GM patent filing in question has been assigned number US 2023/0225016 A1 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and was published on July 13th, 2023. The patent was originally filed on January 12th, 2022, and lists several engineers as the inventors, including Julien P. Mourou (Michigan, U.S.), Rachit Garg (Bangalore, India), Omar Rodrigo Garcia Martinez (Tlalnepantla, Mexico), and Gerard Parij (Michigan, U.S.).
The new GM patent describes an electrically heatable panel with a conductive coating that’s patterned to incorporate narrow regions offering greater current density. This particular conductive profile provides greater heat dissipation within the specific narrow regions.
As the patent lays out, a variety of environmental conditions may affect the visibility of the windshield, such as ice, frost, fog, or mist. As such, the rapid clearing of this accumulated moisture is desirable in order to quickly begin a trip without an extended delay. Although some defroster systems work to clear these conditions by blowing warm air across the windshield, which can clear small regions of the windshield, it may take longer for the rest of the windshield to clear, thus creating a delay for the vehicle operator.
Some automakers use resistive heating to more quickly disperse accumulated moisture on auto glass, such as through the use of conductive inks. However, the patent points out that these defroster grids are not suitable for windshields as they could limit visibility.
In addition, electrically heated windshield systems may incorporate an interior layer in a laminated windshield with a conductive coating to resistively heat the windshield, however, current and power from 12-volt auto accessory power systems can limit their efficacy. Overall, this new GM patent describes a system that could provide some advantages over existing systems.