Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

  • Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

     Patrick Smith updated 3 weeks, 4 days ago 70 Members · 160 Posts
  • Steven McGuigan

    Member
    August 19, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I haven’t seen any information about the A/C and heating for the car. Since there is no coolant I assume the heater will be electric but will the A/C be a normal setup? Will these components be easily serviceable?

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    August 30, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Not to be snarky, but this information has been discussed and time and time again: You can find the information listed in the Aptera FAQ spreadsheet and on Aptera’s Facebook page.

    Yes, Aptera will have both heat and AC, as well as heated and cooled seats AND a secondary, solar-powered cabin ventilation system to maintain the interior at the ambient temperature when it’s parked in the sun.

    Aptera drivetrain and batteries will be liquid-cooled – what Aptera WON’T have is standard air-cooled radiators and/or heat exchangers: The coolant will discard excess heat through the belly of the vehicle.

    The HVAC system will reside under the hood (bonnet) of the vehicle.

  • Steven McGuigan

    Member
    August 30, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Understood. I searched the FAQ and just saw this answer:

    “It does, and it is very well insulated with its sandwich core composite
    construction. The solar also allows the interior to stay at ambient
    temps on hot days so you don’t have to cool the car down before driving
    in the summer.”

    I clicked community and searched for “air condition” and the only result was “Battery insulation”

    I clicked the search on the Facebook page for “air condition” and no results were found.

    This is why I created a new question. I wasn’t sure if there was more technical information somewhere.

  • Bruce Jankowitz

    Member
    August 31, 2021 at 10:03 am
  • 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

    Moderator
    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!

      • 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

          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?

  • 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

      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.

  • 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

      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.

  • Romeo Salcedo

    Member
    March 8, 2022 at 7:11 am

    Air conditioning, I am in Hawaii and would like to know if I sit in the Aptera with the air condition on in the parking lot, how much electric power will I use if I stay for one hour. My Aptera will be all solar.

  • Gabriel Kemeny

    Moderator
    March 8, 2022 at 8:50 am

    That kind of info is probably not yet available.

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      March 8, 2022 at 9:02 am

      Someone from a hot climate should be able to give a reasonable estimate based on the consumption of their current EV. I’ve posted some numbers for heater power consumption based on my Tesla which should give an approximation of what the Aptera’s heater will do. My AC numbers wouldn’t shed any light on the probable consumption for someone in Hawaii, where I live the AC has almost no effect on range but those of you who live in the South and have EVs should have a good idea about how much energy the AC will use in a hot climate.

  • N. Bruce Nelson

    Member
    March 8, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Roman, I have a background in AC and worked as designer and supplier of AC for several early EVs including the Ford THINK! city car, and numerous military applications where power saving in extreme conditions was essential. I have the following statement from Aptera:

    “Energy consumption from the A/C can have a significant impact on a hot day. Our well-insulated body helps but A/C can be an energy hog. You could see 10 to 20% less range on really hot days. We have a fan to extract the hot air from the cabin that uses solar energy to keep the interior cool on a hot day. More exact figures will be shared over the next few months closer to the finalization of our production-intent vehicle once we have undergone more testing!”

    I can also tell you that Aptera is designed to perform well in ambient temperatures up to 125 F (about 52 C) I have some educated guesses that I could share regarding the tech but I can assure you that a lot of small measures add up to superior, and energy efficient performance, even in extreme conditions.
    N. Bruce Nelson
    Aptera Brand Ambassador / Communications Committee co-chair

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    March 8, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Although it’s comparing apples to oranges… My Honda Clarity PHEV has aa electrical AC system (not a heat pump). With sweltering south Mississippi summer temps in the upper 90°s, humidity at 100%, no breeze and a blazing sun in a cloudless sky, parked in my car with the AC set to 74° I’ll lose about 1/10th of a mile of range in 20 minutes.

    I do this weekly (parking outdoors for 20 minutes) as I’m required to wait that amount of time after receiving my allergy shots. In cold weather, the resistance heat drops the range the same amount, but in 15 minutes.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      March 8, 2022 at 8:30 pm

      A Honda Clarity is 44 mpge (about 700 wh/m). This would make your ac be drawing about 210w which seems low. Now given the aptera is 7x as energy efficient and you assume the ac draw is more like 500w (probably more reasonable) then it would be 5 miles of range per hour of stationary ac (1.6 miles of range for 20 minutes). Even if it’s twice that it really isn’t that big of problem. If it’s sunny and the aptera is gaining 700w from solar it’s going to be close to your solar gains to keep cool.

      • kerbe2705

        Member
        March 8, 2022 at 11:20 pm

        The Clarity PHEV is rated at 110 mpge, not 44…

  • Tim Dean

    Member
    March 8, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    The composite body is a natural insulator. Easy to condition during charging & low power to maintain while in use.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    March 9, 2022 at 10:55 am

    500-1000W is common for most EVs to run either the heater or AC to maintain temperature differences of 30-50 degrees. It will be higher at first if you are starting with a hot cabin.

    These are all wild guesses from me but should be in the ballpark:
    If you camp overnight with the AC running and a 25kwh battery it will use about 20%-30% of your battery

    In other words, a 25kwh battery will last about 24-48 hours. A 40 kwh battery will last 40-80 hours, and a 60 kwh battery would last 3-6 days. If you’re stuck in one of those rare Hawaiian snow storms in 10°F weather, a 100kwh battery would keep you warm from a full charge for about a week.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    March 11, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    I would imagine they will have a “camp” mode that will not drain the battery too quickly

  • Paul Farley

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 5:16 am

    I live North of Albany NY and experienced one of our colder winters I can recall in about 20 years. Many days of single digit degrees. Love the car, the concept, want one, but now I am worried about the heat. I had the luxury of driving one many many years ago when they did their tour, I absolutely loved it. Can I get information about expectations with the heater?

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 6:25 am

    It’s going to be a resistance heaters so the range hit in winter will be huge.

    • Richard Mitchell

      Member
      May 16, 2022 at 11:45 am

      Can you be more specific than “huge”? 25%? 20%? 10%? I know that one could only estimate…but what is the likely range hit? Would also make a difference presumably whether the car is being used for short trips (e.g. commuting) … likely with a bigger range hit (frequent heating of a cold cabin), vs. on a long haul trip (where heat would mostly be required to maintain cabin temperature).

      Also, do we have any idea of the power requirements of heated seats? Heated seats should be able to make driving comfortable even at modest cabin temperatures.

  • Scott

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 7:16 am

    The system includes both resistance air fan heaters and heated seats. The heated seats are supposed to be more efficient than the air fan heaters for a given subjective level of thermal comfort, even though the cabin air would still be cool if you used just the heated seats part of the system.

    • Paul Farley

      Member
      May 1, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you for your feedback. I agree with you about the heated seats. I had to rent car with them in the middle of the winter. The seats heated quickly when compared to the cabin air. I had to turn the heat down on the seats.

  • Paul Kirchner

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 7:26 am

    Will the yoke be heated. In the first Audi I had, the wheel was heated and I loved it. The second Audi I bought it wasn’t included and I missed it the entire 20 years I owned it.

    • Raj Giandeep

      Member
      April 24, 2022 at 8:41 am

      There will be a heated steering wheel/yoke

  • George Hughes

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 10:56 am

    As a current EV owner (’14 Spark EV), I’m hyper-aware of the hit that heating takes on an EV, even in the relatively mild north Georgia winters. Typically, the only time I use the HVAC in winter is to clear the interior of the windscreen (defrost) which I use judiciously (turn it only only when needed and turn it off when the fog clears.)

    The seat does a wonderful job 95 percent of the time. After all, you’re most typically dressed for the weather from the get go (usually a light jacket or even heavier coat).

    In that 5% of the time, I use, not the high-voltage space heater (electric resistance as there is no heat pump), but either a 12-volt powered heated throw or, lacking a 12-volt version, a small inverter capable of running a $25 110v heated throw.

    Of course the ambient temps of the battery also conspire to rob you of range but the hit from essentially a 12-volt appliance is minimal additional draw.

    All that said, the comfort level you insist upon in winter will have a cost based on the level of comfort you choose but do know kilowatts, which typically range from $.10-.20 per, are compared to gasoline cheap. Hell, kilowatts are so cheap that most EV manufacturers basically deprioritize efficiency of use of fuel, giving priority to passenger and driver comfort.

    The good news is that unless you are in a competitive event, the Aptera – even in its smallest battery configuration (250 miles) – will have enough range to provide the user with enough buffer to comfortably travel the distances required. If your individual situation and configuration ends up with your needs being challenged by the smallest of the configurations, bump it up to the 400 mile … or just adopt one of the many hypermiling techniques to complete your trip.

    That your range is often fungible on any trip that approaches your listed limit justs means that you can adjust your driving to the circumstances. When you plan your trip, you plan around those limits and accommodate your desired level of comfort as well.

    Those who expect everything to be PERFECT are always disappointed.

    They say in human love relationships, discovering the flaws and embracing them is the hallmark of love … and I do believe most of us here love the Aptera and what it stands for.

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      April 24, 2022 at 1:24 pm

      This is why I think I will be holding out for the 60kWh battery. If, between cold batteries, high speeds, and heater losses my range is reduced by 50%, that will still be about 300 miles, which is fine. In the summer, the extra range is bonus.

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    Two additional points: One is that, if the Aptera is plugged into an EVSE, you can pre-heat the interior using grid power before you begin your travels with no hit to the vehicle’s range. Second, Aptera hopes to, eventually, use a heat pump to both heat and cool the interior of the vehicle.

    I currently drive a PHEV and have found cabin pre-heating (and pre-cooling) to make a significant difference in my driving comfort: The car will stay nice and toasty for quite some time and heated seats and steering wheel are surprisingly effective – moreso than the feeling of a “hair dryer” blowing in my face, trying to heat the cabin.

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