Aptera Color Effect on Efficiency

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Color Effect on Efficiency

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Color Effect on Efficiency

  • Aptera Color Effect on Efficiency

     Sean Donovan updated 1 month ago 9 Members · 11 Posts
  • Sean Donovan

    July 10, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I couldnt find any reference to it.

    Does the color chosen for the Aptera impact electrical performance at all? I’m thinking about the hot days, soaking up the sun with the solar panels, but having a black or dark colored vehicle. The dark color absorbs heat. Does that extra heat dampen the performance of the panels? What about vehicle cooling? I know there is some integrated chassis cooling, but will that be inhibited by a darker vehicle color? Would it be more efficient to have a white or lighter color on the outside? Just thinking out loud, hoping to hear your thoughts.


  • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

    July 10, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    The main body shell is a sandwich composite with a thick core. This should provide highly efficient insulation for the shell and the portions of it covered by external panels. The real source of interior heating will likely be the large window areas.

  • George Hughes

    July 10, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Coming from the south, I understand if you avoid Noir because of its color. It is called experience with the black sedan.

    I can’t imagine the temperatures of Noir being anything but more moderate ‘everywhere’ in the vehicle than a similarly colored steel bodied ICE vehicles which, incidentally, has many more intense heat sources than Aptera. And yet, manufacturers sell a lot of them.

    If color is a hold-up on you choosing Noir; choose a Luna or Sol … or really go bananas and have it specially wrapped in any color you want.

    While nothing anyone does will change the laws of physics; my grasp of the nature of the Aptera composite monocoque is its materials and design will moderate the impacts of solar radiation so much so that inconviences associated with color you mentioned are ultimately inconsequential.

    Said differently, I can’t say that the Noir is the best color for Death Valley motoring, but Noir may be the best solid black vehicle in Death Valley.

  • Len Nowak

    July 11, 2022 at 6:25 am

    Living in the SW…

    I personally would not choose a dark color for my vehicle but full solar is only available in that dark color. This all on the top of the vehicle.

    I never had a vinyl wrapped vehicle in our solar zone eight region. (Also a extremely low humidity region except during monsoon here.)

    I never had this unique foam filled sandwich core composite body with the cooling system in the belly. And the solar power interior heat venting, which seem AZ friendly in my mind…

    Some people are worry about the wide front wheel stance, even with the reflective cover strip light ( ? ) Matte white wheel covers are more visible than matte black…

    So for me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Matte white, Full Solar, I need 60kWh but less is better “if” it works for you. I had solar tint added to my vehicle door windows here. Many here use the foldable reflective solar panel. I have not resorted to that, as I don’t need “more stuff”.

    (I use and interior UV protectant like 303 Aerospace on my interior hard surfaces)

    But I will be living with a vehicle that sits in the sun ( for the free charge), so I might make changes

    • John Wiley

      July 11, 2022 at 6:58 am

      What do you think of white wheel covers combined with Noir – assuming they would do that?

      • Kevin Bradbury

        July 11, 2022 at 4:49 pm

        I would think of an Orca and that color combo should be called Willy.😀

        • Sean Donovan

          July 12, 2022 at 7:40 pm

          I actually really like that idea haha.

  • Joshua Rosen

    July 11, 2022 at 7:12 am

    The solar panels are not painted or wrapped, their color is their color. The purpose of the solar panels is to absorb sunlight and to convert it into electricity. Black paint absorbs sunlight and converts it into heat which is something you don’t want in Texas or Arizona, but converting sunlight into electricity is exactly what you want in those places which is why black solar panels are a good thing. Those are places where you’ll always want to opt for the full solar package because you’ll actually get a lot of useful energy, less heat will be generated by solar panels than paint because a lot of the solar energy is converted into electricity instead. As for the rest of the car, if you have full solar then the only places where there aren’t panels are the places that either don’t get any sun, like the sides, or aren’t connected to the passenger cabin like the wheel covers. Just choose the color based on aesthetics.

  • Vernon Michael Gardner

    July 11, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Sean, Car & Driver and Consumer Reports did some very good articles on the subject of color and temperatures. (spoiler- all colors tested were within 1 degree Celsius after 8 hours in the sun).

  • kerbe2705

    July 11, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    The parts of Aptera’s body that face up toward the sun are black on all three color selections. Fully half the body is shaded except in the early morning and late afternoon so I’m not expecting solar gain to heat the interior so much as it might in a more slab-sided vehicle.

  • Sean Donovan

    July 12, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Hey everyone thanks for the replies!

    I’m not thinking about the interior temperature as much as I am the compounded heat of the dark composite sitting right next to the solar panels. I know solar panels are meant to be dark, but that also makes them warm/hot. When electrical things get warm and / hot, their resistance increases and performance usually decreases. I know motors and batteries have to be a focus for cooling, but didnt know about the solar panels. I really dont think the color will make any substantial difference on the performance of the solar panels, but I was curious as to what everyone thought. 🙂 Thanks and have a good night!

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