Wind option for off grid charging

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Wind option for off grid charging

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Wind option for off grid charging

  • Wind option for off grid charging

     Dan Kerpe updated 2 months ago 12 Members · 32 Posts
  • Paul Schultz

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 10:04 am

    I plan to use my Aptera as my commuter vehicle. I have a daily 125-mile round trip, mostly country expressway. So, I know I won’t be in the “never charge” category. But, when I return home in the evening I have been thinking about adding a wind turbine to supplementally charge overnight without plugging into the grid. Something like the attached link. It would require a supplemental charging port on the Aptera so I am hoping this has been considered seriously by the Aptera team. Thoughts on this option or other off-grid overnight methods?

    https://cuttingedgepower.com/collections/wind-turbines/products/400w-wifi-wind-turbine-generator-3-phase-12v-24v

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 10:48 am

    What you need is an inverter that puts out 120V AC. If you have that then you can plug the portable EVSE into it.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      February 19, 2022 at 11:40 am

      That requires a turbine–>dedicated-storage-battery–>inverter–>EVSE–>Aptera. If there is a connector for supplemental solar I could use simply the wind turbine–>Aptera (assuming the Aptera solar controller handles the auxiliary port). Much simpler. The Aptera is the storage bank. I am not trying to develop an off-grid power source at my home, just a more cost-effective way to supplement charging the vehicle at night.

      • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  Paul Schultz.
  • Robert Klasson

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 11:35 am

    I would go for a bigger turbine. I think I read somewhere that a domestic wind turbine on average produces about as many kWh in a year as the rated power in Watts. Unless it’s very windy where you live, you would need about 5 times the windpower to get the required power not covered by the solar.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      February 19, 2022 at 11:40 am

      The link was just for illustration and not a targeted product at this stage of the discussion.

  • Alain Chuzel

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    A similar question has been asked by those who would like to see portable “flex” solar panel supplemental charging of their Aptera via MC4 connectors. May I suggest you look through the FAQ google docs spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11Of3g6RYqstbXecs7j2UHHd_b8s5MebxEs-ZwkyMiiQ/edit#gid=1847163171) as well as simply using the search function on this Forum.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      February 19, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      I was part of the supplemental solar discussion so no need to search. We did not discuss wind turbines although I did bring it up in that thread. I am really interested in how well these work in low wind situations and whether a moderate wind overnight would provide any appreciable supplemental charge. Even an added 10 miles of range overnight on most nights would be a difference. I’ll go off to the wind turbine sites and study some more as it doesn’t look like we have anyone with the experience with wind energy piping in so far. Thanks though!

      • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  Paul Schultz.
      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        February 19, 2022 at 2:48 pm

        My bad Paul! I focused on the “supplemental charging port” part of your question rather than the overnight part.

        Regarding wind, my experience is pretty limited as I chose NOT to go with what was considered at the time as “small wind” like others in my area have done. What I found interesting in my research was that even though we routinely get some decent wind, the average wind speed was just below some magical threshold that would have made it more economical than solar P.V.

        If you haven’t already, may I suggest googling: NREL wind energy

        There are many great resources available at NREL’s various websites.

        • Paul Schultz

          Member
          February 19, 2022 at 3:00 pm

          Thanks Alain. That site appears to be geared toward higher-level wind turbines. But, it does look like it has some interesting info as well. I was thinking more along the lines of a smaller turbine that is easy to mount. The type I have seen on some RVs when camping with our travel trailer. These are used to supplement solar panels when boondocking. If the Aptera has a supplemental charge port for solar these would be an easy addition. But, I don’t know if they would be worth it as they are in the 400-800W range. They do require low wind velocity to get spinning and provide some charge. I’ll sort through some of the RV sites I frequent and see what type of energy is provided. I do hope that Aptera includes a supplemental solar/wind connection. My goal would be to have the car charge solar during the day while I am working and get some additional charge at night with a wind turbine set up to the side of my drive where the Aptera is parked.

          Just some fun investigation while we wait on our Apteras.

          • Alain Chuzel

            Member
            February 19, 2022 at 3:59 pm

            With respect to the various NREL websites, maybe try googling NREL residential wind.

            Enjoy the research!

  • Vernon Michael Gardner

    Member
    February 20, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Paul, I think that is a interesting idea. There are several ways to approach it. Unless aptera puts in a standardized solar/wind turbine plug, you will need to build a battery system, converter and then use whatever source you wish to collect the power with. There are several companies making 800 w solar systems to charge Tesla’s. The turbine system you showed needs at least 2.5 miles per hour of breeze to generate any electricity. A combination of solar and wind with a battery backup and an inverter maybe more than adequate to give you a good charge overnight. It’s something I’m going to look into. On a side note I would consider two or three wind turbines and a block of 800 w solar cells with some kind of wall battery system that I could use for the house also. It would be possible to make the whole system portable with batteries linked in smaller portable units.

  • Riley …

    Member
    February 20, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    Even if aptera doesn’t put an auxiliary solar/wind power port their is definitely going to be the onboard solar charging equipment that can be tapped into to add power to. Not sure how difficult it will be to make sure you don’t damage the onboard charger but 700w of wind power shouldn’t be too different than 700w of solar power.

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      February 21, 2022 at 5:28 am

      Just to sort of tease out and maybe “accentuate” one point you made, whether external solar or wind, one would really have to understand the details of the “onboard solar charging equipment” as well as, of course, the external source (solar, wind, other) before “tapping in”.

      • Riley …

        Member
        February 21, 2022 at 6:08 am

        Wind would not be something I would attempt myself but really hope someone out there with the knowledge will at least share their findings for the rest of us.

        My crude method for solar would probably be to follow the wires from the cars solar array to the onboard charger than read what kind of power is being generated on the most ideal of sunny days. Than have my solar array on the roof of my garage that would best match that peak output.

        • Alain Chuzel

          Member
          February 21, 2022 at 7:02 am

          In addition to power limitations, I highly recommend you really, really make an effort to understand the “onboard charging equipment’s” voltage and current limitations.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    February 21, 2022 at 7:34 am

    I was thinking about this too – If you lived somewhere really windy like Iceland, you could build a custom retractable turbine to replace the rear hatch. Just park, pop out the turbine, and generate some power.

    They also make trailer hitch mounted wind turbines.

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      February 21, 2022 at 7:55 am

      Or try this (I’m kidding):

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      February 21, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      …or have a steel pad/base that has a post-type mount on one side. Roll the front tire over it to hold it in place and then place a pole mount with a portable “RV micro wind turbine”. Presto! Portable wind turbine power. The mounting pole could be sectional so the entire assembly fits neatly in the back of the Aptera.

      The above is a nice option but I was really intending for an overnight wind turbine system that would provide an off-grid power option.

      In response to another post wind and solar are not a 1:1 swap for a controller as the wind turbine at times can exceed its rating during a higher velocity wind. The wind controllers take this into account where the solar controllers do not. In a perfect scenario, Aptera adds an auxiliary connector port for solar/wind and has a controller that can handle both solar and wind energy.

  • Jonathan Stedman

    Member
    September 30, 2022 at 3:38 am

    So taking nothing away from the solar-powered version, and looking at those who might not live in sunny climes like myself, in 5 years time when the aptera engineers and designers have perfected everything else and have a spare moment can we have an option of a vertical axis wind turbine? One that folds up from the rear section to deploy when parked. No need to worry about wind direction. Now that would be cool.

    • Dennis Swaney

      Member
      September 30, 2022 at 9:22 am

      Jonathan. that would heavily impact the Cd of the Aptera and you’d lose more battery energy that you would gain.

  • Riley …

    Member
    September 30, 2022 at 5:03 am

    How hard it would be to get a wind turbine to work with the already included solar input port? The onboard solar charger can handle about 1700w.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      October 1, 2022 at 11:36 am

      Wind turbine controllers are a bit different than standard solar charge controllers. They need to account for higher winds that can lead to power surges above spec. But, if planned the solar charge controller might be able to include this feature. If not, fortunately many home wind turbines come as a kit with a wind charge controller already. Then, it may be feasible to plug into the auxiliary solar charge port on the Aptera. We won’t know until we get final specs on the Aptera solar charge controller.

  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    September 30, 2022 at 5:45 am

    An intriguing idea. Generally wind turbines Need to be deployed on a tower of some kind to get unobstructed airflow across the turbine blades. I suspect the extra weight of the mechanism would be a hard sell for our efficiency, obsessed Aptera engineers.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      September 30, 2022 at 6:40 am

      Might be an option for home charging that would remove reliance on the grid and increasing electric costs and for those that don’t have home solar. Agree it is not practical for consistent mobile use do to impact on efficiency if carried in the vehicle all of the time.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    September 30, 2022 at 7:26 am

    Is there such a thing has home wind turbines, you don’t hear much about it. I suspect the reason is that small turbines aren’t very effective, there isn’t a lot of wind low to the ground. Commercial wind turbines are the size of sky scrapers and each generation gets bigger. They are also sited on coasts, off shore, on prairies or on mountain tops, places that get strong winds.

    BTW apropos of having no solar, I just picked my tomatoes. It’s almost October and my tomatoes didn’t ripen until now. That’s why I’m getting minimal solar on my Aptera, I’d be lucky to get two miles per day of solar energy.

  • Dan Kerpe

    Member
    September 30, 2022 at 7:31 am

    I’ve been around and know lots of people that have used those smaller turbines on boats. Every single one I know has gotten rid of them and replaced with additional solar. They have two major short comings. First, they’re rarely in the optimal wind range to generate the power they claim. Second, they are LOUD! You won’t want one humming away anywhere near you if you want to sleep well.

    The larger, permanent home installed ones are a different animal though.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      September 30, 2022 at 7:49 am

      Dan, thanks for mentioning the noise factor. One of those aspects easy to overlook with wind turbines of any size.

  • Dan Kerpe

    Member
    October 1, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    Seriously folks, unless you live well away from your neighbors or are willing to spring for a windmill of about 15’ plus in diameter, just don’t. The best analogy I’ve ever heard is that both the little windmills and solar both sound like cordless drills. The difference is that the windmill sounds like the drill is running.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      October 1, 2022 at 3:34 pm

      There are a lot of folks who live in semi-rural to rural settings where small wind turbines are already in use. One of the issues with the impressions on the internet is that many are based on cheap wind turbines from China that have flooded the market. Yes, if someone buys a $150 wind turbine with an embedded controller then the experience might not be very good. But, the same applies to buying cheap solar panels as well.

      • Dan Kerpe

        Member
        October 1, 2022 at 3:48 pm

        I’m referring to the absolute best in the business in the marine world, not cheap Amazon junk.

        Edit: I’ve even got one in my storage shed that the previous owner gave me after one summer of use. He hated it so much he was just going to throw it away. And I’m a huge fan of wind power. The big blade, high torque beasts are awesome. The high speed, low torque units suck.

        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Dan Kerpe.
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Dan Kerpe.
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