Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Heat

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Heat

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Heat

  • Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Heat

  • Francis Giroux

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    I read that Aptera will have air conditioning and possibly heat pump heat. Now I hear that the heat will be electric resistance heat. When I heard that I assumed that for now there will not be air conditioning because air conditioning is done with a heat pump. The heat pump heat would just be a matter of switching a couple solenoid valves that route the coolant/refrigerant in the opposite direction from air conditioning. Now that I hear that it takes at least a couple years to design a custom “heat pump/air conditioner” and we are going to rely on electrical resistance heat instead, I assume the air conditioning is on hold. Am I wrong? If there is already an air conditioning unit already chosen for the Aptera, why can’t it be modified by adding the two solenoid valves to make it a heater as well? Also if air conditioning is already planned, and the battery cooling/heating shares a common loop, I assume the only air blowing around, will be coming from inside the cabin and blown back around in the cabin. Am I wrong again? I also assume a system that “shares a common loop’ would mean that the battery coolant will be the refrigerant for the air conditioner or the system has a heat exchanger where the heat from the battery cooler loop is exchanged to the air conditioner/heater. Am I wrong for the third time? Strike three?

    Personally I don’t use air conditioning, so I can survive with just electric resistance heat. Even when I spent a year in Phoenix in 1974 I didn’t have air conditioning, but I did use reflective coating on all my car windows except the windshield. 120 degrees, no problem, drink water and crack the windows one inch.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Reversible heat pumps are used for heating. Most AC systems are basic heat pumps that only move heat out of the car. Reversible heat pumps can move heat in both directions. Tesla has a reversible heat pump, most everyone else has an AC plus resistance heating. They said they were thinking about putting in a reversible heat pump but chances are they will end up with resistance heat.

    • Hans Roes

      Member
      December 19, 2021 at 10:36 am

      Actually a lot of EVs are equipped with a reversible heat pump, be it standard or as an option. Tesla was actually late to that party with the Model Y being the first Tesla to actually get it.

  • Francis Giroux

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I agree but is the air conditioner subject to the two year design and build delay they are talking about? Not that it matters to me with a reservation number of 20787.

  • John Trotter

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    This pops up from time to time. I am fairly certain that the commitment is AC from day 1 with resistance heat until a reliable supplier steps up with a reversible heat pump with the right weight, size, efficiency, reliability, etc. It really is more difficult to heat and cool with a single machine to work both directions than throwing in a couple valves. The most efficient way to keep the people warm is the heated seats in any event. Air heating is good for fog control, but resistance on the glass may also be pretty efficient. But, none of it is easy when searching for top efficiency.

  • Guy SKEER

    Member
    December 15, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Both My GM Monster Yessiree Buddy 4X4 SUVs utilize the A/C Compressor to provide Heat to the Air handling system for Defrost.

    Older Vehicles Here in the US, usually used the Engine Cooling Loop Antifreeze run through an auxiliary Heat Exchanger in the Air Handling system. This was Doubly Useful for Desert Conditions, as You could call for Cockpit Heat and add another ten percent or so to the Cooling available to the Engine Cooling system Loop (But Baked Inside the Cockpit!)

    I hope that the APTERA would utilize the cooling loop similarly, for the same reason – if Ya had a “Hot Battery” Alarm, Ya could Call for Heat/Defrost, and Help with the cooling Duties for the Machine.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      December 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      There will be no heat pump in the first production Aptare as the development cycle is 2+ years.

      • kerbe2705

        Member
        December 18, 2021 at 10:36 pm

        Last I heard they were trying to source an off-the-shelf automotive heat pump – not to build one from scratch. Nissan, Kia, Hyundai and Honda all use them so SOMEONE must be making them…

        • John Malcom

          Member
          December 19, 2021 at 4:11 am

          As of 12 //08/2021 ambassadors call, heat pump will not be in the first production Aptere according to Chris. “Resistive heating” for heat and experimenting with other approaches for cooling, perhaps air through the seats. Video on Aptera Owners Club, Q&A

          • kerbe2705

            Member
            December 19, 2021 at 9:42 am

            Ventilated seats are lovely! I had serious concerns when they talked about using Peltier modules to heat and cool the seats… Having experienced the SUPREME comfort of being in a home with in-floor heating I’ve long wondered why vehicles don’t take advantage of this: The air temp can be cooler because the radiating floor makes you “feel” warmer. Driving with just heated seats and wheel is plenty comfortable – but warming my cold feet would make it just perfect!

            • John Malcom

              Member
              December 19, 2021 at 10:58 am

              Good to know. Not had the experience

            • V Pilot

              Member
              December 19, 2021 at 11:21 am

              I installed heated floors in my house…it’s the bomb!

      • Randy J

        Member
        February 2, 2022 at 4:40 am

        RE: “There will be no heat pump in the first production”

        It looks like I will have to put my reservation on hold for a couple of years. Or, I buy the APtera as a fair weather vehicle only.

        Heat pumps are an important part of the experience.

        More than 170 Tesla owners have complained to Transport Canada about heat pump failures

        More than 170 Tesla owners have complained to Transport Canada about heat pump failures

        Tesla has been faced with a growing number of owners that have seen their heat pumps fail, resulting in the HVAC system generating no heat in extreme cold temperatures.

        The issue has caught the attention of Transport Canada, which launched a defect investigation at the Issue Assessment level on January 5, 2022 after receiving six complaints from owners.

        • Scott Price

          Member
          February 2, 2022 at 8:49 am

          Hi Randy, the Aptera will still provide resistance heat, air conditioning, and associated ventilation ducts/fans. That will just not be provided via a heat pump. So, it does not need to be a “fair weather vehicle only”. Heat pumps are more energy efficient, so they would be nice to have, but apparently they would set back production by a couple years due to initial supplier and integration issues. They are also investigating the feasibility of heated seats, TBD. And your linked article references issues with Tesla having heat pumps, so showing that article would perhaps make you more interested in actually getting an earlier Aptera that still provides you with heat and AC without using a heat pump?

    • Joel Smith

      Member
      December 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm

      Not sure that you have got that quite right there, Guy. AC comes on for the defogger because a coincidence of chilling air is that you simultaneously dehumidify it. The excess moisture condenses out in the device. That’s why cars often drip water from their engine compartment when they have been running the AC during the summer. That dry, conditioned air is then that much more effective at stripping the moisture off the inside of the windshield; especially if it has been warmed back up first, but even if not.

      • Guy SKEER

        Member
        December 19, 2021 at 1:14 am

        How Gentle, and How Friendly Your correction is/was, Joel!

        Not being Privy to the Schematics and Service Manuals for My GM Monstuhs, I simply noted that the A/C compressor is called for as soon as Defrost is Commanded, and also Noted that there was Heated Air coming out of the Dash Vents at base of Windshield, almost instantaneously. Must be using Resistance Heating, then, if not using Heat Of Compression.

        Regards!

        • V Pilot

          Member
          December 19, 2021 at 10:38 am

          Doesn’t the AC defrost function only when the control head is not calling for heat? (warm scenario). ICE vehicles use coolant through a heater core and can’t do both as the defroster is often in conjunction with floor vent(winter scenario) ala Honda, and maybe others. Maybe heat pumps work differently, IDK

          • Vernon Michael Gardner

            Member
            December 21, 2021 at 6:04 pm

            All ICE vehicles (in last 30 years) use blend doors to mix hot and cold air. So you can get heat with AC on and clear windows of moister. You can use hot air to warm the cold air from you AC if it is too cold.

  • Bojan Majdandzic

    Member
    February 2, 2022 at 11:00 am

    This kind of system would fit in Aptera’s philosophy:

    Automotive supplier MAHLE has developed a compact heat pump system (Integrated Thermal System, or ITS) that it says can increase winter cruising range for EVs by up to 20%. https://www.mahle.com/en/products-and-services/emobility/meet/thermoelectric-heat-pump/

  • James Lester

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    Well, to the heat / air conditioner debate, I’d like to throw in something.

    The current design of Aptera is based on total aerodynamics for low drag. Aptera has put half split opening windows on the first model, that seem to small to be of much good for doing things like handing things in or out through the window ,say like at a drive through window. Well that’s probably a mute point anyway, as those front tires stick out so far, both you and whoever is working the window would need six foot arms. And if you open the window at highway speeds, you’ll trash the aerodynamics over the body.

    So I Dont know if the designers know about something called a N.A.C.A. duct air inlet. But to bring in a lot of air, for ventilation or to cool the batteries, instead of relying on in the body cooling tubing, NACA vent inlets could be used. ( Hope the cooling tubes can be easily fixed in case of a impact to the body where they are). They bring in boundary layer air ( used on aircraft for years ) and don’t wreck the airflow. For passenger comfort, one could be on each side, up front higher up between those massive wheel pants they are having to stick out so far because of air flow problems, drawing off the compressive air between the nose and wheel pants, smoothing the air while allowing the wheels to be moved in to a more normal 75″ spacing. Fixing a couple of issues. Change the window design, to a simple taller opening, without the horizontal strip, maybe just hinged at the top or bottom for use while stopped to hand things through or low speed venting, and let the NACA air vents bring in all the air you’ll ever need while cruising.

    Hey, what do aircraft engineers know anyway about aerodynamics?

    • Scott Price

      Member
      February 4, 2022 at 3:14 pm

      Love any idea that gets rid of those unfortunate view blocking side window frames, James. They are a design flaw for field of view and driver experience that will likely at minimum be annoying and in some cases reduce safety/awareness. In pursuit of the lowest aerodynamic drag coefficient possible, lateral field of view was de-prioritized. It is increasingly unlikely to be able to make these kinds of improvements at this late point, though perhaps more distant future iterations will address them after they receive real world customer feedback and reviews.

      • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

        Member
        February 4, 2022 at 4:41 pm

        Scott, “In pursuit of the lowest aerodynamic drag coefficient possible, lateral field of view was de-prioritized.” If that was the goal they would have eliminated opening windows completely. More likely it is for customers convenience expectations.

        • Scott Price

          Member
          February 4, 2022 at 5:34 pm

          Hi Oz Man, yes, partly agreed, though that does not change the validity of my statement about prioritization (which is different than binary elimination). The Aptera team stated that making a full height/normal retractable window would have affected the exterior shell shape and door design too much for their aerodynamics goals, though the split window design was acceptable enough for them to do it. I agree with you that aerodynamics (and also weight + parts complexity) could all actually be even further improved if they eliminated opening windows completely, if they had chosen that path.

          They instead prioritized aerodynamics over field of view by still offering a (half) retractable window at the expense of clear field of view laterally. Their priorities were, in descending order: 1/most important) aerodynamics, 2) offer some form of retractable window, and 3/last) provide good lateral field of view and associated driving experience. The current design reflects that order of priorities. Trade-offs need to be made, though I personally disagree with their decision on this one. It is a case where the singular pursuit of the smallest Cd possible won out over daily usage considerations and driving experience. There is an interesting discussion about this issue at prior forum thread https://aptera.us/community/discussion/window-midbar/, if interested.

          Window midbar

          • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

            Member
            February 4, 2022 at 7:30 pm

            Hey Scott, yeah, I follow pretty much all the discussions, almost a full time job at this point. Really for the Aptera as a whole, what it will come down to for all of us, is actually sitting and driving a production ready model and deciding whether the plusses outweigh the minuses. I’m in for an early Paradigm Plus, and even though I’ve been hoping and waiting since 2008, I won’t be able to really decide, until I get to that point, but I think it will take a lot to dissuade me.

            • Scott Price

              Member
              February 4, 2022 at 7:55 pm

              Well said and I agree with you on all of that, Oz Man!

  • Vernon Michael Gardner

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    There are several ways to use an HVAC system with the Aptera with minimal ducting changes they could easily bring air in through the suspension openings and duct flow of air out the tail light assemblies. Most vehicles use this “flow-through” system. Over simplified-heating and cooling can be done by the same unit. Basically a compressor/pump, condenser, evaporator, a fan and controlled ducting. I have seen these weigh in about 20lbs. for a complete system. I am willing to bet the engineers have considered several different set ups and we will have heating, cooling and defogging of the passenger compartment on the Delta models.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      February 4, 2022 at 4:52 pm

      I’m hoping a heat pump and LFP (for shorter range models) are things the engineers incorporate over time. I’ll still get the car without these improvements but they will substantially improve the vehicle by allowing better cold weather efficiency and full battery usage without degradation. Ideally the Aptera will continue to evolve their vehicle with changes over time.

      • Riley ________________________________

        Member
        February 5, 2022 at 2:04 am

        My expectation is that by 2025 we can buy an upgrade heat pump kit to install ourselves. I wouldn’t mind paying $1,500 or so for the bump in efficiency.

  • Bulent Aliev

    Member
    February 5, 2022 at 8:27 am

    No AC is a no-go for Florida. The humidity here is a big factor in the summer. They better come up with a solution ASAP.

    • Scott Price

      Member
      February 5, 2022 at 9:15 am

      Hi Bulent, as mentioned earlier in the thread, the Aptera does come with air conditioning. The heat pump discussion is independent of that.

      • Bulent Aliev

        Member
        February 5, 2022 at 9:21 am

        Thank you Scott for setting me straight. I was concerned we may have to cancel our order.

  • Daniel Hughes

    Member
    June 30, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    I think what most people are missing is that the Aptera is a hyper efficient vehicle so running a resistance heater will have a much larger effect on range than on other electric cars.

    The 400 mile range aptera has 41 kwh battery. This means it uses 35 wh per mile, if assuming 60 mph that’s 2100 watts .

    It is estimated that at 0 degrees C the tesla model 3 resistive heater uses 1000 watts.

    So you should expect to lose about 1/3 of your range running the heater.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 22 hours ago by  Daniel Hughes.
    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      June 30, 2022 at 6:15 pm

      5.7 hours at 60mph while drawing 1000 watts of aux load results in about 340 miles of range instead of 400. That is a 15% range loss. If heating needs more or you travel slower or could go up but remember the cabin is smaller

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