Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)Posted by steven-mcguigan on 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?
- 90 Replies
- MemberAugust 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.
- MemberAugust 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.
- MemberAugust 31, 2021 at 10:03 am
Hope this works, got lots of questions/answers about Aptera
- MemberDecember 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.
- MemberDecember 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.
- MemberDecember 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.
- ModeratorDecember 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.
- MemberDecember 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.
- MemberDecember 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm
There will be no heat pump in the first production Aptare as the development cycle is 2+ years.
- MemberFebruary 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?
- MemberMarch 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.
- ModeratorMarch 8, 2022 at 8:50 am
That kind of info is probably not yet available.
- MemberMarch 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
- MemberMarch 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.
- MemberMarch 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.
- MemberApril 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?
- MemberApril 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.
- MemberApril 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.
- MemberMay 1, 2022 at 7:50 pm
I live in a place with 6 months of snow on the ground. Average 135” of snowfall . Though McCall doesn’t get -30F temps, it does get -15 or -20 at least once a year. That’s to put my comments in perspective. My Aptera will spend its nights in a garage, charging. I anticipate getting in after unplugging, with the cabin temperature a comfortable 65f prearranged via software and paid for with grid electricity, .10$/kwr here. Then my heated seats and steering yoke/wheel plus a very well insulated cabin keep me comfortable. Am I missing anything? The same process would work in hot weather, or outside year round with a bit more cost plugged in, or with solar, with less range gained in order to maintain comfortable cabin temperature.
- MemberMay 19, 2022 at 9:14 am
One of my concerns with the Aptera is that it may have no way to take in fresh air for the cabin. Does it have a fresh air intake and filter for the heating and AC? I know the team avoided using an air intake to cool the batteries due to its aerodynamic cost, but I hope there’s a solution for the cabin.
- ModeratorMay 19, 2022 at 9:36 am
The FAQ has stated HEPA and UV so air intake would be needed.
Where they placed it????
Even after they seal around the wheel covers/ that area… the vehicle will not be hermetically sealed.,So???
- MemberMay 19, 2022 at 11:13 am
@matt-gleason – Aptera’s cabin air intake is between the windshield and the hoot (bonnet) – exactly where it is on most cars on the road. What it doesn’t have is a front grill or nose-mounted air intake.
Yes, there will be a cabin air filter. Yes, there will be AC. Yes, there will be heat. Yes, there will be windows. Yes, there will be windshield wipers. Yes, you will be able to charge Aptera using L1, L2 and DC fast charging, as well as solar. BTW – all of these questions are answered in the FAQ.
- MemberMay 25, 2022 at 2:24 pm
The implication that I am aware of, is that there will be a lipped area for the wiper behind the hood/hood solar array as on most vehicles, and that incoming air would be vented in thru there and out via the exhausts at the rear on either side of the license plate.
- MemberMay 29, 2022 at 5:54 pm
But does fresh air venting count as “a full climate control system!”? Those of us at or near the Gulf of Mexico (Oklahoma here) experience “air you can wear” in the summer with the humidity pumped in on southerly breezes.😓
I’m hopin fer some jenyooine arr condishunnin.
- MemberMay 29, 2022 at 10:10 pm
@Kevin Bradbury Next to “does it have windows”, “does it have AC” has been the most commonly-asked question about Aptera – from Day #1. Yes, Aptera will have AC. Yes, Aptera will have heat. Yes, Aptera will have windows and air bags and seatbelts and windshield wipers and all the other accoutrements one would find in most any modern automobile: The founders have stated time and again that they are building the vehicle to automotive (not motorcycle) standards and that they fully expect it to pass automotive safety and crash worthiness testing.
In addition to all of the above, Aptera ALSO has a solar-powered ventilation system (even with the “basic” solar package) that will keep the interior from overheating when the vehicle is parked in the sun in hot weather. The system will maintain the interior at the ambient temperature – so if it’s 100°F outside, it will be 100°F inside, instead of 130°F.
- MemberMay 29, 2022 at 6:42 pm
Cabin air must come through a replaceable therefore accessible cabin filter before entering into a distribution plenum which includes one or more multi speed blowers. Most cars intake their cabin air below the front windshield under the wipers. This is all included if the dash assembly most likely supplied by Chery. I doubt that the exhaust will be powered but the intake fan will be controlled by cabin temperatures.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Tim Dean.