Solarbay (opacifying sunroof)

Solarbay is the trade name for a glass panoramic roof using liquid crystal technology. Renault’s Solarbay panoramic roof does not need a roller blind to darken the interior, which brings a number of advantages.

The popularity of panoramic roofs in passenger cars is continuously growing, especially due to the feeling of spaciousness and brightness in the interior. However, if the occupants in a car with a panoramic roof want to shield themselves from the sun, they usually have to use a sunshade to block the sunlight. The Solarbay panoramic roof offered by Renault is structurally different because it does not use a roof shade for dimming.

Solarbay function (dimming panoramic roof window) 

The Solarbay panoramic roof was developed through a collaboration between Renault and Saint-Gobain Sekurit. Solarbay was first introduced in the Renault Rafale E-Tech and Scenic E-Tech models. Solarbay uses liquid crystal technology to dim the roof window. The panoramic roof window is divided into several segments, allowing it to switch into four different states: fully transparent, fully opaque, transparent in the front and opaque in the back, or vice versa. Additionally, these changes can occur smoothly or in an impressive wave-like manner across nine segments. All of this happens in less than 5 seconds.

Solarbay functional modes 


Not only does the Solarbay roof window block sunlight, but it also maintains a stable temperature inside the car. Thanks to special layers of glass, it doesn’t matter if it’s -5 °C or +30 °C outside – the temperature inside remains the same!

Solarbay - thermal properties

Additional benefits of the Solarbay panoramic roof:

  • due to the absence of a sunshade, the ceiling can be 3 cm higher – which is especially welcomed by taller passengers
  • the Solarbay panoramic roof weighs 6 to 8 kg less than a traditional roof window with an electrically operated sunshade
  • the roof can be dimmed using a button by the overhead light, accessible to both the driver and front passenger, or by voice via Google Assistant, allowing control for all passengers, including those in the back

Did You Know:

  • The Solarbay panoramic roof automatically switches to opaque when you turn off the engine and leave the vehicle. When you return, it switches back to its original setting. Thus, during your absence, it remains opaque to protect the interior from sunlight.


  • Similar panoramic roofs are offered by other manufacturers, such as Porsche. For the first time in the Porsche Taycan GTS model, the company introduced a panoramic roof with Light Control functionality. It is expected that if this new shading method proves commercially successful, more and more car manufacturers will offer panoramic roofs with PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) technology.


  • PDLC film can also be used in other ways, such as for optional shading of windows and glass surfaces in your house or apartment. It works in exactly the same way, depending on the flow of electric current. The intelligent or smart PDLC film offers numerous advantages for use in homes, such as on-demand privacy, control of the amount of light in the interior, improved thermal comfort, and enhanced interior attractiveness.