Even more solar range

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Even more solar range

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Even more solar range

  • Even more solar range

  • lawrence bekkerman

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 8:25 am

    There would be more than 20% of additional solar range if Aptera were able to produce solar panels shown in sketch.

  • David Tiemeyer

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 8:39 am

    You’re using the Sunpower Maxeon 5″x5″ cells, right? Do you have a side-by-side layout comparison sketch for the alpha model?

    BTW, how do you post photos? I have a back door way through google photos but that is cumbersome. Here are some photos of a 3D print I made. https://photos.app.goo.gl/ATr1JZ9ZyW2W1F5X6

    I would love to add solar cell detail to my model.

    • lawrence bekkerman

      Member
      January 4, 2022 at 8:15 am

      this is just an overlay on an image provided by Aptera

  • Fanfare 100

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 8:42 am

    Good use of real-estate. I believe the ones in the middle of the trunk lip were omitted because they’d be more subjected to damage from when people load and unload stuff from the rear trunk hatch. Lots of people tend to slide things of bang things as they put things in and out making me actually wonder if a trunk protector for loading and unloading might be a good detail option.

    • lawrence bekkerman

      Member
      January 4, 2022 at 8:18 am

      I see what you mean with the area around the trunk. Maybe, a more durable transparent covering can go over that part.

  • Alain Chuzel

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Triangle shaped Maxeon cells don’t exist and it would be prohibitively expensive to have “custom made”. There are easier and cheaper ways to get more cells on this car.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      January 3, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      The sunpower maxeon cells are already quite expensive and the solar options are likely slightly subsidized in the base price. While it might be possible to add more solar it is of questionable worth vs the cost due to the need for exotic shapes. It already makes more sense to have the solar be on a roof of a building and properly angled rather than on a vehicle. The solar is a convenance and isn’t about saving money or the environment compared to static solar. For some without an ability to charge at home this is an amazing feature but these shaped cells would likely triple (or more) the cost if sunpower or others could be convinced to make them.

      PS: Not sure why the 3 squares at the front of the hatch are different (not solar?) and 4 cells are “missing” at the back. If these could be cells the extra 7 cells might be 2-3 miles per day.

      • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

        Member
        January 3, 2022 at 7:50 pm

        Curtis, the three cells at the top of the hatch are actually the high brake lights and the rear view camera.

      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        January 4, 2022 at 4:43 am

        Maxeon cells really aren’t that expensive. I, SunCat Solar, LLC, can buy, direct from the manufacturer, relatively small quantities (1000 to 3000) of nominally 24% for under US$1 per watt today.

        BTW, I’m not making an argument for having any, let alone more, solar cells on the car. I generally agree with you that it’s not the best use of solar. I am just making the argument that the way Aptera is arranging the cells is TECHNICALLY silly and that attempts to add triangular cells would be even more silly.

  • Paul Kirchner

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    What is the reason in the first place that the panels are arranged in the pattern that creates the dead triangle spaces? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to run them parallel to the outside perimeters?

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      January 4, 2022 at 4:23 am

      When first asked this question some time ago, my best guess was “cosmetics” because, in spite of claims to the contrary, there are no good engineering reasons to do so.

      FYI, on December 28, 2021 (about a week ago), Aptera has been granted “U.S. Design Patent 939430”.

      • David Tiemeyer

        Member
        January 4, 2022 at 9:35 am

        One of the Claims in Design Patent 939430 reads as follows:

        “9. The vehicle of claim 8, wherein each of the plurality of solar cells is at least 30% more flexible along the axes of symmetry bisecting the short edges of the solar cell than along the axes of symmetry bisecting the long edges of the solar cell.”

        They are referring here to the octahedral shape of the Maxeon solar cell which apparently is more flexible along the diagonals than parallel to the edges. So, arranging the cells diagonally allows a better wrap around the complex curves of the hood, roof and hatch.

        That, and I think it DOES improve the aesthetics.

        • Alain Chuzel

          Member
          January 4, 2022 at 1:06 pm

          The claim you are referencing is not in U.S. Design Patent 939430. It was in a REJECTED patent application titled “System and Method for Solar Cell Arrangement on a Vehicle”. The ONLY claim in U.S. Design Patent 939430 is “The ornamental design for a solar panel layout on a vehicle, as shown and described.”

          Also, another patent application titled “System and Method for Solar Cell Arrangement on the Dashboard of a Vehicle” was also rejected.

          As an aside, I really wonder where the claim that the cells are more flexible along the diagonals came from. I have been working with pretty much EVERY generation of these cells since they became commercially available (circa 2003 to 2005 if I’m not mistaken) and it’s just not true.

    • lawrence bekkerman

      Member
      January 4, 2022 at 8:13 am

      I think 1 reason for Aptera’s solar panel design is for better looking gaps between panels.

      For example, if you would make panels placed in 90 degree design, gaps between panels would look misaligned on curved surfaces, like the lightyear one and sion shown below.

      Aptera’s diagonal design makes a cleaner look in terms of gap between panels.

      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        January 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm

        I disagree that the “better looking gaps” is a consequence of the Aptera 45 degree rotation. Both other cars have cells, in some areas, that are intentionally “misaligned” so that more active cell area results which increases panel efficiency. Aptera chose the opposite approach. For cosmetic purposes, they intentionally aligned (with much wider gaps) and rotated cells at the expense of panel efficiency.

        You might be interested in the following video.

        • John Malcom

          Member
          January 4, 2022 at 7:31 pm

          We don’t have insight into the specifics of Aptera solar engineering so we can neither praise nor criticize it. We can trust that they will do the best job possible on solar as on every other engineering area. We have the option to order minimal solar to full solar depending on how we feel about Aptera solar engineering and capability.

          Curtis Cibinel is an expert on solar I would accept his comments as being authoritative.

          • Curtis Cibinel

            Member
            January 4, 2022 at 11:34 pm

            Lol not sure how I’ve earned such high praise. You’re a professional consultant for the auto industry and bring far more professional perspective.

            I’m a software architect that’s done my homework on solar me other areas. I do trust Aptera engineers did their homework as they have the best solar configuration on any vehicle. Personally I see little value in vehicle solar compared to building based except for those that can’t charge at home. Solar on the car is a convenience and optimizing it further at the expense of other optimization of software or core engineering in my view is wasteful (Aptera is already ahead of any others in solar by a wide margin). I see value in solar but sentry mode or other optimizations are more critical ( ie motor cutoff at speed for efficiency with awd)

            • Alain Chuzel

              Member
              January 5, 2022 at 4:55 am

              Curtis, I’m not sure how one can say that Aptera has the “best solar configuration on any vehicle” and “Aptera is already ahead of any others in solar by a wide margin”. Possible cosmetics aside, the Lightyear One solar panel is technically pretty stunning if one understands the details.

          • Alain Chuzel

            Member
            January 5, 2022 at 4:49 am

            Well shucks John. You once regarded me as an expert:

            solar cell temperature

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    January 4, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Your design covers the front-facing camera location at the top of the windscreen. This would make most of the “Safety Pilot” functions non-functional.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    January 7, 2022 at 7:47 am

    For those of you arguing about effectiveness of solar on a car – Sure it’s easier to put four 400w panels in my front yard to soak up the sun – but then I need a $6000 stationary storage battery to store it because I have to park my car at work. Having the panels in the same place as my existing car battery is a big deal and reduces cost a lot – even if the panels are less efficient.

    • Scott Price

      Member
      January 7, 2022 at 8:33 am

      Peter, most people use grid intertied systems at home where they positively feed into the grid during the day and negatively draw off the grid at night. It is not perfect, as no system is, though it does work fairly well at a large scale system level. In my case, I have solar panels on my home that are intentionally over-sized to produce more than my household needs over the course of the year and the excess will go toward offsetting power consumption from an EV plugged in at night. Given the unfortunate current decision to use vinyl wraps that will need to be replaced every 3-5 years (instead of long lasting paint) and the fact that vinyl wraps ironically degrade much quicker when out in the sun, I will be parking my Aptera in my garage when at home. I very much support the solar car concept, though for me it is more related to efficient additional energy production when outside away from home.

      • Jon Arryn

        Member
        January 7, 2022 at 9:38 am

        The decision to use 3M Wraps is not good if you like in the Desert Southwest like me (Phoenix) and had planned to solar charge exclusively. 3M’s outside usage for their graphics products is subject to a “Reduced Warranty Period” for 3M’s designated Desert Southwest Zone. That includes all of Arizona and New Mexico. That “reduced warranty’ is actually 0%, as in no warranty coverage. See the attached Product Bulletin from 3M.

        From 3M.
        Note: Any outdoor graphic located in Arizona, New
        Mexico, and the desert areas of California, Nevada,
        Utah, and Texas
        is subject to reduced warranties. Click here for a detailed map or go to 3M.com/graphicswarranties. See “Reduced Warranty Period
        for Other Graphic Exposures” for reduced warranty period information.

        • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Jon Arryn.
    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      January 7, 2022 at 12:17 pm

      Peter, I don’t believe anyone above was arguing about the effectiveness of solar on the car in the manner you suggest. For your “use case”, solar on the car is more than valid.

  • Llewellyn Evans

    Member
    January 8, 2022 at 4:23 am

    Each cell generates the same power for the same area. A cell of half the area will generate half the current. A panel will supply the same current as the weakest cell. Having any cell that is half the size of the others will cut the current by half.

    Solar nerds, please correct me if I am wrong.

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      January 8, 2022 at 7:08 am

      Solar nerd reporting for duty!

      Generally quite correct but two “fixes” immediately come to mind:

      1. Two of the the nominally half size triangle shaped cells could simply be electrically paralleled before connecting in series to full size cells.

      2. The nominally half size triangle shaped cells could simply be series-ed to each other and paralleled to an equivalent voltage full cell string.

      Both of the above techniques are used, on occasion, with solar race car arrays. I know because I’ve designed and built modules using these very techniques (although not with triangles!).

      • Llewellyn Evans

        Member
        January 8, 2022 at 2:05 pm

        Thanks Alain. You are a true and fully certified nerd.

        Live long and prosper.

        • Alain Chuzel

          Member
          January 8, 2022 at 2:19 pm

          May the force be with you so say we all. 🤓

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