Solar Sun Shade

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Solar Sun Shade

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Solar Sun Shade

  • Solar Sun Shade

    Posted by Wyatt on July 2, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    I live in Arizona. Solar charging in AZ in the summer will heat up our Aptera’s cabin to intolerable levels without a windshield sun shade, which will block the solar cells installed in the dashboard. My solution: a windshield sun shade with built-in solar cells, that plugs in (maybe to a cigarette lighter outlet?) to help charge the vehicle. You would increase the charging capability and not literally burn yourself on the steering wheel. I suspect people in lots of CA could use this too!

    Elzo replied 1 year, 2 months ago 19 Members · 22 Replies
  • 22 Replies
  • Solar Sun Shade

    Elzo updated 1 year, 2 months ago 19 Members · 22 Replies
  • len

    July 2, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    I live in AZ too and understand but… why can’t they solar shade be sized to stand arched /vertical from behind the Rear View mirror/screen and sit behind the steering wheel so the solar cells are not blocked.

    And tint the door windows. I am getting full solar , which obscures sunlight through the hatch.

    You may know the Aptera solar also powers a venting system to keep the interior close to the outside temperature

    • jonah-jorgenson

      July 2, 2022 at 4:49 pm

      A good idea👍

    • OkieKev

      July 2, 2022 at 6:20 pm

      That was my thoughts as well. I signed up for the full solar package so not worried about the rear hatch. My first mods planned are:

      A-Custom fit a reflective windshield shade to fit behind the dash cells.

      B-Tint the side windows (hopefully will be able to find a shop to tackle those windows).

      C-Custom fit some kind of divider to separate the cabin from the hatch area with either some quilted material or if I can find a large enough windshield shade to fit. That way only have to condition a smaller area.

      • george-florida

        July 2, 2022 at 9:31 pm

        The pet package offers a divider for pets and could provide a framework for your separator.

  • Sam

    July 2, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    A solar shade for the windshield is a great idea! Adding even more solar cells.

    Isolating the rear too is awesome, 1/2″ insulating sheets at 4′ x 8′ are readily available. Cut it to fit and wrap it with whatever.

    • lisa-hillard

      July 3, 2022 at 12:13 am

      A solar shade with solar cells?! That’s brilliant!

      It might only add a mile or two, but why waste all that good sunlight!

    • george-hughes

      July 3, 2022 at 1:12 pm

      Actually, one might also consider a highly reflective sun shade with the idea that the reflected light rays would boost the juice generated by the existing solar cells on the dash. After all, the only way the shades with cells would be performing near capacity is if they were more directly aligned with the angle of windshield, blocking sun to the ‘factory’ solar cells.

      The solar sun shade with solar cells, however, is a better idea for non-solar cars as it could power a vent or even small cooling apparatus like is in one of those powered coolers … but most vehicles come with a tinted windshield lowering the efficiency of any such device.

      I actually think this may be one of the first broadly successful application for cheap thin-film perovskite solar cells. I expect the reason we don’t have such items commonly available now is the difficulty with traditional solar cells and the still experimental thin-film efforts.

    • wayne-nuske

      July 5, 2022 at 1:16 am

      These comments are all very very interesting and have brought up a topic that I have always taken for granted: exposing the interior to the full effects of the sun. It is not only the heat differential between the inside and outside of the vehicle but it has made me think about what are the effects of the UV on the (plastics of the) monitors and steering wheel over time.

      Otherwise a “plug-in” solar shade with solar panels sounds neat. The UV here in the southern hemisphere is quite intense.

  • Wyatt

    July 2, 2022 at 11:06 pm

    Len, that is awesome that it has a ventilator to keep the cabin close to outside temperature! I think that’s an automotive first (though I could be mistaken, I don’t know a lot about what luxury marques got going on nowadays). That’s a total game changer!

  • steven-g-bueche

    July 3, 2022 at 4:40 am

    The sun charges the cell/batteries. The batteries power the cooling. The cooling takes away from power storage. I know it’s early to ask but, if in AZ the cooling system will be working hard to keep your car cool, how much gain will you really be getting after the sun goes down and your system is still cooling off your car?

    And, solar sunshades are a thing. A custom one for the Aptera is not.

    I like Lens idea. Folding an arch could be tricky.

    Let’s say you’ve got a good amount of charge and you pull up to work to park for the day. Do you want your car working all day as well? No. So, instead try this,…

    One square piece of cover with a sewn pocket on each end. One for the rear deck and one for the front nose. This would be used when almost fully charged (which most will never be due to usage) and when I just want things cooled down.

    Remember, these batteries have a limited charge/life cycle. Do you really want them fully charging all the time while you’ll seating at your desk? Would it reduce the life expectancy?

    • philip-sandiford

      July 3, 2022 at 5:18 am

      A couple of fairly easy solutions; well, easy for someone at Aptera in the second example.

      The frame for the reflector could be easily made like a folding photo reflector, where the fabric defines the shape and the spring frame snaps in front of the a-pillar. Done.

      The hardest part would be manipulating the dang thing while sitting in the car.

      Now, use the sensors to detect when the sun is up, or a logic switch for when the panels are charging: The result determines if the cabin gets temperature control.

    • norman-roberts

      July 3, 2022 at 12:14 pm

      there may be a way to disable solar charging in the UI

  • ray-holan

    July 3, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    Looks like you struck a nerve in a good way, James. The responses show lots of interest in your idea. I’ve always been interested in connecting extra panels, but the solar shade idea is genius. We’ll have to wait to see what sort of connector Aptera includes for supplementary solar input from an external panel — sun shade or otherwise. MC4 or XT40 connectors come to mind. A previous thread may provide some points relevant to your sun shade idea:

    Emergency "Gas Can" for Aptera?

  • Riley

    July 3, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    I had a similar idea a couple months ago. Pivot the whole dashboard up towards the windshield and have an extension pop up to block the rest of the upper windshield. A bit more labor intensive to get to work so most people would prefer a plug and play option like your idea.

    • ray-holan

      July 4, 2022 at 5:35 am

      Hi, Riley. Looks like you got there and planted the solar shade flag before James and the rest of us!

  • S Patterson

    July 3, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    I built curtains for my apartment like that! Battery under the couch, blackout curtains made of solar cells.

    A fold-out shield would be great. The extra solar power would be one thing, but reducing the amount of cooling needed for the cabin and battery is the other.

    • steven-g-bueche

      July 5, 2022 at 2:35 am

      Do they stay closed all the time? If not, is there any chance of metal fatigue breaking the wires with use? Are you concerned about any fumes coming from the battery? Do you have ventilation for the battery? What do you power with this setup? It seems like a great way to get some solar, especially on the sunny side of the house. It avoids the expense of a solar set up outside where it you get dirty and require more care.

      I’ve got a huge front window that catches sunlight all day. You’ve given me a few ideas,…

      • S Patterson

        July 11, 2022 at 9:24 am

        Sure? But if you use braided wire, it’s no biggie. I have power supply cords decades old that still function. Cables should always be made as expendable features.

  • kirk-robbins

    July 5, 2022 at 6:37 am

    I’m thinking about the same thing. I would love to have a flexable or foldable panel with these cells to provide a bit more charging. Due to the shape of the cells a panel could work as a sunshade or just placed on the ground. I fully intend for this vehice to be for campnig as well as my office for work.

    • arlen-bell

      July 24, 2022 at 9:48 am

      I’ve considered the dash solar cells to be the least effective given a tinted windshield and planned to use a regular solar shield over the exterior of the windshield on intense sunny days. A solar cell cover would be of interest if it makes economic sense.

  • alexander-kapral

    July 23, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Hey sorry I know I’m late to this discussion but I was just looking at tech specs and thinking about the car myself and came to this same relative thought. However my conclusion was rather than having an auxiliary solar panel to block light I was wondering if there was perhaps a way to reflect light back out to the hood or down to the dash. Similarly to how some solar plants have fixed panels and use an array of mirrors to refocus light towards them.

    The chief issue I see with adding additional solar to “block” the incoming light is that solar power is heat power, anywhere theres a cell there’s going to be heat so while you wont get light into the car, you’ll have heat radiation off the shade.

  • Elzo

    July 24, 2022 at 10:04 am

    That would be an awesome aftermarket accessory!

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