Did aptera really take this long to decide on mppt solar charge controllers

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Did aptera really take this long to decide on mppt solar charge controllers

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Did aptera really take this long to decide on mppt solar charge controllers

  • Did aptera really take this long to decide on mppt solar charge controllers

     Llewellyn Evans updated 2 months ago 6 Members · 14 Posts
  • seth feldman

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I’m no solar expert, but I thought mppt was the obvious choice for a modern solar charge controller that cared about efficiency or total output. They just released a video making it sound like a breakthrough that they came up with. I think the question who knows anything about solar would be how the curved arrays affect output, and how many microinverters they would need to avoid voltage/amperage output drops from the entire array. I hope John Malcolm is correct and they have “experts working on every aspect of the vehicle” and this is just a case of a rather uninformed video editor, because posting an mppt video like it’s a breakthrough they just came up with doesn’t really fill me with confidence in their engineers.

  • Gary Greenway

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    I too was disappointed with this video. Maybe the marketing department is still in ‘making cartoons for children’ mode. You know the engineers must cringe whenever they watch these videos. In any case, it reflects poorly on a tech company to release this simplistic content.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      May 1, 2022 at 10:34 am

      I think Aptera has to do a delicate dance with the videos they post. I presume the market for Aptera is diverse enough to cause some debate at Aptera staff meetings about what is the target audience of new videos they’re considering. For most of us here on the forum IMHO, the recent Aptera video on solar covered the terminology and solar operation that were familiar to us already. For the less technical Aptera prospect, even the volts x amps = watts may have been new information.

  • Gary Greenway

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    No microinverters needed here. They either use one optimizer per panel (hood roof hatch etc) or individual charge controllers per panel. There is no need to switch to AC with a microinverter.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Gary Greenway.
  • Alain Chuzel

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    As a “solar expert” (at least a self-proclaimed one 🤓), while I am a bit disappointed with the video, I’m kinda leaning in the direction that John Malcolm is correct. Admittedly, however, I’m getting a bit worried about how well the array will do as we get nothing but crickets or “the solar mule this” or “the solar mule that”. I hereby, again, openly offer to help Aptera’s array engineers! (I’ve had more than a hand in design/fab/test of solar race car arrays for over 30 years – USE ME APTERA!)

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      April 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm

      Never a bad idea to assume John is correct. I know the video was dumbed down but the audience isnt people with engineering backgrounds. From what I saw with Aptera Owners Club it definitely looks like good progress is being made.

      PS: Despite being really simplistic itself this got me really curious about solar efficiency and how its connected/managed. I ended up doing a ton of research to understand it. I know that series connected solar panels in rooftops can be a nightmare when a single branch blocks part of a panel. Great to see they are not making such extreme “best case” assumptions with the solar and instead have something that should be functional.

      • Gary Greenway

        Member
        April 30, 2022 at 4:52 pm

        Curtis, It’s not much of a problem. Just break it into 5 strings. (Hood, roof and rear deck, dash, hatch, and external panels. Put a small charge controller on each string. All can operate independently regardless of solar insolation.

        • seth feldman

          Member
          May 3, 2022 at 6:17 pm

          I’d suspect the curves may have the biggest impact on solar efficiency, and may require extra strings or other electro solar fairy wizardry. EG: rear hatch may have direct sun on 1 side, indirect on top, and shaded on far side so it may need 3 strings or more.

          • Alain Chuzel

            Member
            May 3, 2022 at 7:44 pm

            It is not trivial to be sure. I’ve, personally, dealt with everything you’ve mentioned over and over throughout the decades working with various solar race teams. I’m extremely curious to see Aptera’s solution.

      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        April 30, 2022 at 7:46 pm

        Curtis, if you don’t mind, what did you see with Aptera Owners Club that suggests “good progress is being made” on the solar front? I must have missed it.

  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    May 1, 2022 at 6:40 am

    Can you add the link to the video you are referencing? I looked through Aptera Owners Club YouTube videos and didn’t find one that jives with your observations. Thanks.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      May 1, 2022 at 9:13 am

      This thread is in reference to this video by Aptera. https://aptera.us/maximizing-solar-output/

      Regarding content in videos from Aptera owners club he didn’t do any deep dive on solar; I was speeking more generally about the progress on the vehicle (beta, body, suspension, wheel pants, cooling, and interview with Chris).

      Maximizing Solar Output

      • Ray Holan

        Moderator
        May 1, 2022 at 10:21 am

        Thx Curtis.

  • Llewellyn Evans

    Member
    May 5, 2022 at 12:41 am

    I feel it is a bit of a storm in a teacup.

    The video explains in simple terms how the system works but does not bog people down in the implementation. My understanding is that mppt update periods are usually slow for domestic inverters …. the fast update algorithm may indeed have been developed in house ….. or maybe not. 🖖

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