Looks like Tesla’s thinking up new ways to conserve energy and yes, the liquid-filled seats are leak-proof.
We’re not entirely sure what to make of Tesla’s latest patent. In a nutshell, they’ve devised a heating and cooling system for seats that may or may not find their way into future cars and SUVs. The system makes sense but using liquid to cool or heat these seats seems far more complex than conventional means.
The patent describes a new seat design that is built with multiple layers, like onions, within the seat cushions. The bottom layer contains the middle layer in which the liquid is located. The top-most layer is the one passengers will park their behinds on. Within the middle, there’s yet another layer, a distribution layer, with the heating and cooling element. The liquid itself will be moved around thanks to a pump to ensure even distribution of the cooled or heated fluid.
If you’re confused, don’t worry as we are as well. The Tesla patent holds numerous figures that depict how the layers come together through cross-section images but they only partially help to explain how the seats work.
Typical heated and cooled seats use, respectively, heating elements and fans to adjust temperature and they work just fine. Tesla liquid-filled seats are not only complex but, in our minds, add weight to elements that are already quite hefty. Have you ever tried to lift a car seat? One with the power components? Some can easily weigh 100 lb., and more.
Some outlets think this is to conserve energy but extra weight will do the exact opposite. Maybe Tesla’s got too much time and money on their hands…