- MemberSeptember 4, 2022 at 12:20 pm
I think that a simple and cost-effective accessory for Aptera would be a pair of full-size fold out solar panels in the trunk? These are not very expensive and would make a huge difference to the solar charging ability – probably more than doubling it; especially for customers like me in the UK where solar radiation is poor for half of the year.
- MemberSeptember 4, 2022 at 12:31 pm
How do you plan on preventing the extra PV panels from walking away from the Aptera when it is parked & unattended? Realize that bolt cutters are more portable than PV panels.
- ModeratorSeptember 4, 2022 at 12:32 pm
I love Aptera’s mobile solar charge which would work “whenever the sun shines on it” Even when I I am on the move!
I am getting full solar
( I don’t think it can charge while under a rapid DC charge)
But for my wife’s EV ( Not an Aptera. ) I am investigating this product
As we need shade in the desert!
Of course adding a few more PV solar panels to my house array is less expensive
- ModeratorSeptember 4, 2022 at 3:13 pm
I support your idea, Martin. Yes, parking the Aptera and setting up the panels outside the vehicle would need to be done in a secure area. Nevertheless, there have been several mentions by Chris A. that Aptera would allow external panels to be connected. I assume it would be a MC4 outlet but we’ll have to wait and see.
- MemberSeptember 4, 2022 at 3:58 pm
Aptera has confirmed that a connector for external panels will be furnished in the production Aptera. The owner can connect what ever panel arrangement they wish to acquire to the connector. Since there are many possible use cases for additional external solar, it should be the responsibility of the owner to acquire an array that is suitable. Aptera should not be expected to supply such arrays which are commonly available as a commodity purchase from many sources. We want to keep the burden on Aptera as light as possible until the is a steady revenue stream and Aptera does not need to rely solely upon investment capital.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by John Malcom. Reason: Added idea
- MemberSeptember 5, 2022 at 7:50 am
Before plugging in, however, be sure to understand voltage, current and power limits. I’ve said it before. Magic smoke is difficult, at best, to put back in….
- MemberSeptember 6, 2022 at 9:28 am
- MemberSeptember 7, 2022 at 4:53 pm
I wonder if Aptera would consider building an optional portable solar array in daisy-chainable modules which could be deployed next to parked vehicles (where they can be attached safely) and connected to the rear charge port to allow extended off-grid solar charging capacity.
If the solar cells were similar to the built in cells and the battery management system could sense their presence, this would make the solar-charging capability even better.
- MemberSeptember 7, 2022 at 7:33 pm
I think Chris commented on this in his interview with Steve from Aptera owners club about 4 months ago (part of his visit – bunch of videos on YouTube). I don’t recall how committal the answer was but I think most people are now expecting an mc4 port. I believe we even know got quoted the potential capacity in the electronics was something like 1200 or 1500w leaving plenty of room for external cells.
- MemberSeptember 8, 2022 at 1:48 am
Even if there is no port there will still be a solar charge controller we can tap into with additional panels. The real question is if someone were to use 3,000w worth of panels and tie it into the 1500w charge controller will something fry or just max out its capacity.
- ModeratorSeptember 8, 2022 at 6:03 am
Total set of panels putting out 3K kWh would be a rather large array. Typical rigid panel output is rated at 375-410 watts or thereabouts per panel (under ideal lab conditions).
I think most of the members who have posted in this thread are interested in a portable array. Portable, foldable panels are sold in various outputs, but a 200 watt foldable panel (actually several panels folded up) is getting to the top end of the market. Hence, 10 of those for a 2kW capacity would take up a fair amount of space and likely not fit in the back of the Aptera. The real point, as you mentioned Riley, is one would need to be careful about maxing out the Aptera solar charge controller rating.
- MemberSeptember 8, 2022 at 6:09 am
“…is one would need to be careful about maxing out the Aptera solar charge controller rating.” And not just in power. Can’t forget about the specific voltage and current specs.
- MemberSeptember 8, 2022 at 7:27 am
I would prefer to park my aptera out of the sun for most of its life while utilizing its ability to charge with the sun. Throwing 12 rigid panels onto a carport and maximizing solar recharge to never have to use the $0.44 per kwh i pay for electricity. Also avoid all of the excessive costs towards installing a full home solar setup. From the brief reserch ive done on putting too much solar onto a charge controller it would only utilize its max ratings and be fine but knowing my luck things will start smoking.
- MemberSeptember 8, 2022 at 11:36 am
May I suggest working toward a future solution. A few years ago we invested in becoming grid independent with our home solar. We oversized it so we could charge or EVs without paying the increasing utility rates. We ow have two Teslas we charge from home solar (At different times of the day) and are not connected to the utility for any electrical power.
<font face=”inherit”>If you start now with a small system especially with the new government incentives you can </font>gradually<font face=”inherit”> grow until you are independent and your electicity for your home and your EV cost nothing.</font>
<font face=”inherit”>We have another incentive. We live in Florida and are occasionally subject to power failures do to hurricanes. I hate to admit, but we do gloat when the power is out for a few days following a hurricane, everything is on at our house and our neighbors houses are dark.</font>
- MemberSeptember 11, 2022 at 5:24 pm
Chris mentioned yesterday in his presentation at Fully Charged that they plan to offer external panels for camping/charging in remote areas. If memory serves, he said 1 kW.
- MemberSeptember 12, 2022 at 10:57 am
Hope they have a long cord or use a standard connector that would permit the use of an extension cord. I’m getting minimal panels on the car because my driveway is heavily shaded, however if I had a 100 ft cord I would be able to set up some external panels in a sunny spot in my backyard during the summer.
- MemberNovember 7, 2022 at 1:34 pm
So if the Aptera external panel will charge 1 Kwh, is that for an hour of charging? A day? I’m getting brain cramps trying to figure out how to estimate the additional milage of an external panel. I would prefer to get an Aptera panel if possible, since it will be designed to play nice with the car, and I’m just starting the learning curve for EV’s.
- MemberNovember 8, 2022 at 4:57 am
Panels are rated in kW not kWh. If the panel is 1kW, then if it was unfolded for an hour, then that’d be 1kWh (10 miles) generated. 5 hours = 5kWh (50 miles), etc, assuming perfect conditions / maximum sunlight / etc. In reality things aren’t perfect (it’s not noon all day, we don’t all live on the equator, clouds exist, …).
Don’t worry about the panel ‘playing nice’. They’re basically all the same other than the connector. Any panel with the right connector would work. 1kW of panels is probably around 6 typically-sized solar panels chained together (i.e., it’s not small!!)
- MemberNovember 8, 2022 at 12:38 pm
Michael Marsden – Thank you for this. If we can double the 40 miles per day to 80 with an external solar panel, that will enable us to change from the 1000 mile range to the 600 mile range – I think. Still waiting on the real-world data for range loss with AC, fast driving and AWD.
Our usage will be a few local trips of <20 miles per week, plus 200 mile trips 3-6 times per month, occasionally 2-3 times in a single week. Our goal is to never have to plug in. Ever. We think it’s possible, since we get a lot of sun year round.
- MemberNovember 8, 2022 at 6:11 am
Building your own portable panels will be a bit of trial and error. The benefit of having a DC to DC connection directly into the Aptera MPPT Solar Controller can be illustrated by checking out this dude’s setup.
He has to go panel to solar controller to battery (for a buffer) back to Tesla charger which needs access to the outside of the vehicle. He also looses some in the DC to AC to DC conversion, all the connections, charge/discharge of his buffering battery, ect…
If Aptera really does give us an external port to plug 1,000 watts of solar into that would be just absolutely amazing.
- ModeratorNovember 8, 2022 at 6:52 am
I found a place in AZ that sells used rigid panels for $75 for a 250 watt panel. $300-$400 investment would get you 1,000 watts. These are standard residential panels, so heavier than the foldable, portable panels available from several vendors. However, these are suitable for charging your Aptera directly from the sun at home using the MC4 outlet we believe will be built into the Aptera.