Hail damage?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Hail damage?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Hail damage?

  • Hail damage?

  • Kevin Watkins

    Member
    April 22, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    Having recently endured some pretty significant hail storms and dealing with hail damage to the hood and roof of my full sized steel truck, I began wondering about what hail would do to the complete solar package I chose for my Aptera?

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    April 22, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    We don’t yet know about the resin in which the solar cells will be embedded, nor do we know the substrate upon which they will be mounted – but we DO know that the cells, themselves have a measure of flexibility. As hail tends to bounce off of composites, I guess the best we can hope for is that it will bounce off of Aptera’s solar body panels, as well!

    • George Hughes

      Member
      April 23, 2022 at 12:03 am

      My understanding is each of the solar cells can be replaced if damaged by hail.

      The particular cells were chosen because of their ability to bend or flex and they are considered generally resilient.

      That said, if you’re caught in the storm with softball sized hail, you’ll be okay in the Aptera unless the hail is of such size and intensity, it crushes through the windshield and hatch, in which case you may be on your way that legendary city in the sky, Oz.

      Still, in a storm of less intensity, you might experience a loss in productivity of particular cells lowering your bonus solar miles. But again, if the ‘generation’ of energy is impacted too greatly – more damage = less output – they are replaceable.

      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        April 23, 2022 at 5:26 am

        It is likely a bit of a myth that “each of the solar cells can be replaced”. I’d be thrilled if I was wrong.

  • Steven G. Bueche

    Member
    April 23, 2022 at 3:16 am

    I would think that if the hail was substantial enough to stop the operation of the solar cell panel your insurance company would cover it. Then you write to Aptera for a replacement dash. hatch, roof or hood. If it happens and the roof needs fixing, that could be another can of worms. The other consideration would be how to install the electrical wiring to ensure it’s operation again. Steve Antony has said they would ship parts and instructions or how to repair parts. Still, the roof seems like the biggest challenge.

    If you’re not in the city, a car cover or tent of any kind might help. I plan on a kind of hut from Harbor Freight myself. Son-in-law got one and it works just fine. I have a two car garage but half goes to the M3 and the other is woodworking.

  • John Young

    Member
    April 23, 2022 at 5:23 am

    I am pretty sure these are the cells they are using.

    Sunpower New Solar Cell Flexible Mono Solar Wafer Monocrystalline Cells Tabbing for DIY Solar Panel High Efficiency 3.4W C60 https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B078KCCY4T/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S6VE48BHAJWBEKT0S3QZ

    I bought some to play with and make my own little panel. Yes, they flex a little bit but they are also very brittle. I broke a couple just handling them. I have also been curious for a while how they are going to protect them and lately how they could possibly make them replaceable. They have to be soldered together and we all assume they will be part of an epoxy pour to cover them. So…how do you un-epoxy something? Chisel it out? My guess is that individual panels WONT be replaceable but rather the whole body panel will be replaceable. If you get a bunch of broken cells from rocks/hail/temp swings/ect… then you can say, remove the hood body panel and swap it out for a new one with the solar cells, color, wiring l, ect..already attached/installed.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  John Young.

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      April 23, 2022 at 5:47 am

      I’m always glad to hear someone else mention, from their personal experience, that the Maxeon/SunPower cells are brittle.

      One minor technical correction, it is unlikely the cells Aptera will be using the “C60” generation of cell you played with. They are rather “vintage” these days. I’m currently using what are known as “E66” cells in all my projects. Unlike the “C” generation, the “E” generation, at least in the 125mmx125mm format, has, effectively, bypass diode-like “protection” at the individual cell level.

      For the curious, the “60” in C60 and the “66” in E66 refers to the diameter of the wafer from which the cell was made. “60” = 160 mm diameter while “66” = 166 mm diameter. Perhaps obviously, the “66” cells “fill” more of the nominal 125mm x 125mm footprint.

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        April 23, 2022 at 8:01 am

        Appreciate you sharing your expertise on solar with us so we can better understand this important feature of the Aptera.

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      April 23, 2022 at 11:22 am

      John, I just noticed something interesting about the cell in the picture and at the link. On the front view the radii of the rounded corners are much smaller than the radii of the rounded corners than shown on the back view. In my estimation, the front view is of a C50 (150 mm diameter wafer) whereas the rear is of a C60 (160 mm diameter wafer). Weird that the listing wouldn’t have shown front and back of the same cell!

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        April 23, 2022 at 11:39 am

        Good eye. That is why you are an expert.

        does not generate confidence when there are discrepancies

  • Alain Chuzel

    Member
    April 23, 2022 at 5:23 am

    In the case of the rear hatch solar, if any, because they are likely to be under the glass, the cells will be pretty well protected. I get the sense Aptera really wants to “protect” all the other cells too. Bottom line, my best guess is that if the hail is bad enough to create “body damage”, cells will be damaged and it is likely the “panel” they are in will need to be replaced. Of course we are still waiting to understand details on replacing “panels”.

  • Steven G. Bueche

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 11:23 am
    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      April 24, 2022 at 12:39 pm

      That is pretty cool! maybe fill it with helium and could give a lift to the Aptera to reduce the vehicle weight and give more mileage for a given battery level. We should add to the list of features people want for their Aptera🤨

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