Solar cell production/revenue

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Solar cell production/revenue

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Solar cell production/revenue

  • Solar cell production/revenue

  • RAYMOND NETTLETON

    Member
    December 4, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    I thought I read that Aptera developed and produced their own solar cells. While this is probably a pilot line and not full blown production, what have they been doing with them? Stockpiling? Idling the line?

    Working backwards from the cost of the solar options Aptera will charge approximately $1 per watt. ($4 per 4 watt square) A good deal on a stationary rectangular panel in bulk might be $.50 per watt. So they can’t compete directly. Mind you the Aptera itself is the frame/substrate so this isn’t exactly Apples to Apples.

    Still the pricing is very specific and not bad for a very durable cell. I would assume that they have at least a 20% margin on the solar panel options. So they expect their cost to be $.84 per watt or less. Many consumer solar products are in the $4 per watt range.

    Might this be a revenue source? Even if they couldn’t compete with Alibaba they might be a novelty product. Sell them for $20 each. Light up an LED Aptera insignia or something.

  • Krzysztof Rudzinski

    Member
    December 4, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Doubt it. What purpose would the panels serve that current ones on the market cannot. As you mentioned they are not cost efficient and their life expectancy is only 1/2 that of regular panels.

    • RAYMOND NETTLETON

      Member
      December 5, 2022 at 9:54 am

      Where did you get 1/2 the service life of regular cells? “normal” would be 20% loss in 20 years or something like that.

      So are you saying that after 10 years a complete replacement might be required due to gradual degradation?

      I thought I read their process would allow them to replace damaged cells on the car.

      • Gabriel Kemeny

        Moderator
        December 5, 2022 at 9:58 am

        @RAYMOND NETTLETON You seem to have been misinformed – individual cells are not replaceable. The cells are sealed/encapsulated and if damaged enough, the entire panel must be replaced. In the latest video update about the panels, the lead solar engineer quoted a longevity figure to 10-15 years – we don’t know to what level the panels degrade at that time.

  • Gabriel Kemeny

    Moderator
    December 4, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    @RAYMOND NETTLETON I think you are confused- Aptera doesn’t make the cells – they buy them from Maxeon. They connect/encapsulate them into panels.

    Other than the current list price of the optional panels, we have no idea what the panel prices will be.

    The potential revenue source might from licensing their potentially patentable production process of the panels.

    • GLENN ZAJIC

      Member
      December 5, 2022 at 4:30 pm

      I believe they will be too busy to do it but another potential revenue source might be making some panels for others. We don’t know what there solar panel high volume line will look like yet. I would love to see somebody make slightly curved panels to cover the tops of school buses. Think they could catch enough rays to drive for an hour a day free?

      • John Voules

        Member
        December 5, 2022 at 8:26 pm

        Much heavier vehicles would not benefit much from solar panels to actually move it.

        Large busses are 25,000lbs without passengers, 36,000lbs with. Maybe a carbon fiber bus built as aerodynamic as possible….we will have to weight for APTERA to get in the buss building business 🤣

        • Michael Marsden

          Member
          December 6, 2022 at 5:23 am

          Sono motors (yes, the same people who are doing the Sion) have been installing solar onto busses etc, as well as a bunch of other people doing the same thing.

          They don’t really require much of a curve, so I don’t think that Aptera would get a big advantage.

  • George Hughes

    Member
    December 5, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    From what I understand, Aptera has developed a process for the creation of panels with minimal decline in efficiency and minimization of the problems of hot spots. Combine that with the actual ruggedized exterior coating, the bending and forming and you have a something other than the typical flat solar panel; rather a stylistic panel. This fitment to curves is a serious challenge that has been surmounted but it is not the only challenge.

    The software that balances the charging amongst all the cells in such a way as to maximize the charge obtained is also difficult challenge. That too has been accomplished and the combination represent intellectual property that may have value going forward.

    The current effort to produce as quickly as possible using the existing prototype cell forming process that represents the IP. This IP is in the process of being engineered into a larger production machine that is part of the capitalization that is underway. This new solar panel finishing line will operate at what, twenty? times the rate of the prototype production machine but since delivery may not come until after Aptera is in ‘production,’ the current line will be in operation building inventory in the meantime.

    While we might imagine a vast market for on-vehicle solar, the reality is that steel framed EVs are just too heavy for solar to be of value.

    That said, about the most motivating word in the English language is ‘free’ and what Aptera offers is free miles. The big question is whether 6-12,000 miles of ‘free’ transportation energy enough to convince people how stupid it is to roll around in 4 ton steel monstrosities that require out of pocket expenses approaching $3,000 to go that distance.

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