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autoviva2010-11-08 12:04:23

Roof with Magic Sky Control to premiere in new SLK

Roof with Magic Sky Control to premiere in new SLK

Mercedes-Benz has presented its newest technology for the vario-roof that will be featuring in the new SLK set to premiere next year: the Magic Sky Control. Thanks to this technology drivers and passenger can with a touch of a button make the vario-roof either transparent or darkened.

An open-air experience during cold weather will be offered in the transparent mode, while the darkened mode will create a shade that will prevent the interior to heat in direct sunlight. The Magic Sky Control is able to darken on demand in a matter of seconds. Mercedes-Benz will be the first manufacturer to offer this kind of technology.

As this new glass also protects the vehicle from the sun's rays far more effectively than conventional thermal insulation glass or sunblinds, the SLK will also be offering its passengers a higher level of climatic comfort. Even on a standstill the interior does not overheat, as the roof is switched to darkened mode when powered off.

In terms of operatin principle the Magic Sky Control is based on the physics of a plate condenser. Particles in the structure position themselves so that light is able to pass through the glass when the structure is subjected to an electrical voltage. If the voltage remains switched off, however, the particles position themselves randomly.

Mercedes-Benz has put the Magic Sy Control system under a demanding endurance test programme, where prototypes fitted with the switchable glass roof had to pass around the globe. This programme globe included harsh practical tests conducted in Death Valley in the USA – one of the hottest places on earth.

Making use of the hot temperatures, which regularly hit over 50 degrees Celsius in the shade, the test engineers left the SLK prototypes with transparent roofs for four hours around midday, for example. They then switched the roofs to non-transparent mode and immediately noticed significant relief from the torturing heat.

Thanks to the use of a device called star pyranometer engineers were able to explain the reason of this sensation. While with the open roof, the load from the sun in the heat of Death Valley reached 1000 to 1100 W per square metre, with the transparent glass roof it dropped to 200 W. Then with the darkened mode of the Magic Sky Control it frther dropped to 40 to 50 W – one 20th of the original value.

This technology doesn’t only benefit passengers. As some of the strain is taken off the air-conditioning system, the CO2 emissions are also reduced.

The panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL will be available to order as an optional extra for less than 2000 euros.





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