Solar Windshield Reflector

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Solar Windshield Reflector

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Solar Windshield Reflector

  • Solar Windshield Reflector

  • Rob Whitlatch

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Hey Aptera team!

    I was looking at my black car this afternoon sitting in the sun and thinking to myself, “It’s 95° out today. I should probably put my windshield reflector up so my interior isn’t so hot later when I have to go pick up my son.” And that led me to an interesting thought on an accessory for the Aptera!

    What would you think about designing, manufacturing, and selling a windshield reflector accessory item that was made up of solar panels?! By my calculations of the area of a normal windshield, we could gain about 150-200 watts of additional charging if the user had a windshield reflector they could put up while the vehicle is not in use and plug into the vehicle (maybe the accessory outlet?). Just throwing that out there as an idea. I know many people who believe in this kind of vehicle and technology would be more than happy to take the 2 minutes to increase the regenerated range by another 10-20% by putting something in the windshield!

    Looking forward to any feedback from you guys at Aptera and the community at large!

    • This discussion was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Norman Roberts.
  • Steve Lee

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    if this is practical and cost effective, this is a GREAT idea.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    I believe the engineering is pretty locked in for the first production vehicles. (Well along on Beta – we should hear more later this month on Beta) Sounds like a candidate for the second iteration of Aptera or perhaps a third party product. I would pay for this kind of enhancement, but would not want to hold up the current schedule for engineering and integration/testing for an enhancement that might delay a production ready vehicle by the end of this calendar year.

  • Rob Whitlatch

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    100% agree with you John. I want mine now haha! I was thinking this as an accessory on a different development track than the vehicle itself. We are aligned on that 🙂

    • Fanfare 100

      Member
      July 26, 2022 at 6:32 am

      OTOH, a solar windshield deflector, I would consider, to not be part of the main engineering of the vehicle, but an accessory which one could opt for for additional solar charging which could even simply plug into the charger or any other port in the same way that is unobtrusive to the man design, allowing the regular process to arrive at a point of “pencils down” and not interfering with the main production schedule. It’s possible even that this may become an opportunity as a viable after-market product as well; just as the incorporation of a small rumble-seat for the rear for a 3-passenger. 😉

  • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Wouldn’t that block the dashboard solar panels?

  • GLENN ZAJIC

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Yes that would block the dash solar array, but probably increase the output due to more surface area exposed. And also offer a little UV protection for the interior. I want one for both the front and back, then I would not get the full solar package as I would love to only have that back window view blocked when I charge, not when I drive. Either way, I too am excited and will take what is produced and see what naturally will occur in the aftermarket. What we should have though are ports built in which could accept these solar panels.

    • Richard Marks

      Member
      August 14, 2021 at 10:33 am

      So I’m new here to forum. With the rear panels is the rear window view completely blocked? Hadn’t thought about rearview mirror .. is there one?

      • GLENN ZAJIC

        Member
        August 14, 2021 at 1:22 pm

        Much of this has been discussed in the previous forums. Yes the view is completely blocked by full solar on the rear window. Yes, there is a rearview screen, displaying better info than a rearview mirror, but in that location. The camera is mounted high up on the rear window and there is a small spot (where there could have been 3 solar cells) that allows for the camera to see out, and I think maybe the high mounted brake lights. I think you can see this in some of the pictures of the full solar design.

    • Alexander Kapral

      Member
      July 23, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      I agree with this, while I’d love the extra charge capacity of the full solar array I just cant part with a clear rear window. My thoughts are to get a flexible solar “blanket” and keep it rolled up until I’m parked then string it up in the rear window or across the cargo area. Yea flexible panels are less efficient than rigid, but for this purpose I think they’re the best fit.

      Personally my daily commute is 15.5 – 20 miles round trip depending on route so just the roof dash and hood are more than enough for me anyway.

      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        August 12, 2022 at 7:07 am

        You may want to avoid any flexible solar panels that contain crystalline cells. Repeated flexing will likely kill them rather quickly.

  • Paul Evans

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    It could be an interesting DIY project. I recall a discussion that said owners could easily replace individual solar cells. It might be possible to build a window insert panel if we knew how they are wired – I’m guessing parallel. Remove one of the dashboard cells and attach the panel you constructed to the now vacant receiving terminal. We would need to know the wattage limits of the receiving terminal(s) and the type of terminal used to connect everything. But watt do I know…..

  • Len Nowak

    Moderator
    August 14, 2021 at 5:22 am

    I thought the same, but as a minimalist i.e., I don’t like carrying around flexible panels and stuff… but surely could appeal to many.

    Im my mind, companies like Go Sun make smaller versions of this already like…

    https://gosun.co/products/solarpanel-30

    … so that could be fashioned into something like that.

    My idea was to have a slide out version ( not mobile) that came out of the roof liner. Partially pulled out , maybe serving as our sun-visor, which Aptera has yet to show…. Perhaps fully drawn connecting to the edge of the dash, which would not block the dash solar cells???

    BTW You probably know the Aptera std solar array powers a ventilation system exhausting hot air, when parked in the sun, to try to keep the interior temperature close to the outside temperature so ….less energy would be needed for the AC operation.

    • John Hermann

      Member
      July 25, 2022 at 5:34 am

      Normally I would avoid tagging on to year-old posts but I’m a little late to the game having just recently made my reservation and will make an exception for this one.

      I have to say I love the idea of a retractable sun shade/supplemental solar integrated into the headliner. I might even offer that I might prefer that option over the existing plan for the solar dash since I question whether or not the amount of energy gain while driving is significant or particularly relevant. Why not take advantage of the entire windshield space while parked?

      I can’t imagine the impact to available headroom would be anything but minimal and the flexible solar panels they have been demoing should be more than capable of adapting to curved interior shapes. There may be some question of durability during repeated flex cycles but I suspect that is likely not a real concern. Weight penalty should be negligible as well.

      Let’s make it happen Aptera!

  • Paul Evans

    Member
    August 14, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Len, on reducing energy, I plan to have UV filtering film installed on the door windows. I’d put them on the front window, too, but that would reduce the effectiveness of the solar panels on the dash.

    • Ron Glossin

      Member
      August 8, 2022 at 1:20 pm

      I vote no solar dash. I use shade in windshield most of the year here in
      Arizona. A visor is needed to hold the shade or have a couple of clips.
      There are 21 solar panels on the dash and 26 on the hood. Make the hood
      standard with the roof and drop the dash panels.I vote no solar dash. I use shade in windshield most of the year here in Arizona. A visor is needed to hold the shade or have a couple of clips. There are 21 solar panels on the dash and 26 on the hood. Make the hood standard with the roof and drop the dash panels.

      • Alain Chuzel

        Member
        August 8, 2022 at 9:02 pm

        The correct term is “cells” not “panels”. As in, “There are 21 solar CELLS on the dash and 26 on the hood. The collection of cells on the dash or hood would be more correctly called panels or modules.

        • Ron Glossin

          Member
          August 9, 2022 at 6:48 am

          I thought I had it wrong but I new I would be corrected.

          • Ron Glossin

            Member
            August 9, 2022 at 3:30 pm

            Knew, so I won’t hear from you again.

            • Alain Chuzel

              Member
              August 9, 2022 at 3:43 pm

              I’m pretty sure you’ll hear from me again….😉

      • john Bussjaeger

        Member
        August 11, 2022 at 11:22 am

        I second this! I don’t want the dash but I do want the hood!

  • John Voules

    Member
    September 30, 2021 at 8:39 am

    This for me is a far better idea than putting solar array on the inside of the vehicle’s dash. Aside from heating up the interior, there would be the suns deteriorating effect on all other materials. I have always tried to protect my vehicle and at the same time keeping it cooler by using a windshield screen. My thoughts at this point is to try and customize my windshield sun shield to cover everything but my solar arrays.

    • M T

      Member
      August 9, 2022 at 7:14 pm

      I am lucky? enough not to need a solar shade for most of the year (especially not with passive ventilation the car will come with), so dash solar is ok with me. Passed on the hood cells because I was (and still am) afraid of damage from road debris. That said if there was a convenient (easy to store/setup) aftermarket solar charging shade for the windshield, I would likely buy it, especially if it provided a substantial wattage boost vs using the dash cells only. Those dash cells are going to get toasty so that may not be that hard…

  • John Belmonte

    Member
    October 1, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    I hope there is some input on the car for supplemental charging. (Beyond stable DC, supporting direct connection from external solar panels would obviously be nice.)

    You could get creative with it, like have the passenger exercise with a pedal-powered generator to make extra juice for the journey…

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 8, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      The engineering is complete for the first iteration of Aptere. The capability to connect external solar cells is included in the implemented charging functionality.

      • Dennis Swaney

        Member
        August 9, 2022 at 7:57 am

        John, any indication of where and what type of connector?

        • John Malcom

          Member
          August 9, 2022 at 4:44 pm

          The connectors will be the ubiquitous MC4. The location I have no idea😥

        • Ray Holan

          Moderator
          August 9, 2022 at 5:11 pm

          Here’s details about the MC4 connector. Commonly included with portable, foldable aftermarket solar panels:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MC4_connector

          • Dennis Swaney

            Member
            August 9, 2022 at 8:52 pm

            Hmmm if I read that correctly, the connectors are easy to connect in, but a bear to disconnect requiring a esoteric tool. I can see it for permanent installations, but not for temporary connections. Leave it to the nanny state to make things as hard as possible.

            • Alain Chuzel

              Member
              August 10, 2022 at 6:52 am

              First, the MC4 connector is not a bear to disconnect and, although helpful, an “esoteric” tool is not required. Second, I personally don’t like them for repeated connect/disconnect. They aren’t made for that. In fact, a piece of test equipment I have (solar array current vs voltage tester) has them and they suggest replacing them after about 100 connect/disconnect cycles.

              BTW, nanny state(?) Give me a break but way to slip in another political comment there Dennis.

            • Dennis Swaney

              Member
              August 10, 2022 at 9:11 am

              The Wikipedia article I read said the US Government mandated the use of a tool to disconnect the connector. THAT is a nanny decision. If Adam’s tools work just fine to connect them, then they should be just as fine to disconnect them.

              Also based on your info of the limited life span of the connector, it doesn’t make any sense to use that connector for portable temporary connections.

            • Alain Chuzel

              Member
              August 10, 2022 at 6:54 pm

              Dennis said: “The Wikipedia article I read said the US Government mandated the use of a
              tool to disconnect the connector. THAT is a nanny decision.”

              Nothing personal but I COULDN’T CARE LESS about your thoughts on what is and what isn’t a so-called nanny decision. Political rhetoric is not welcome in this forum.

              Dennis said: “If Adam’s tools work just fine to connect them, then they should be just as fine to disconnect them.”

              What? I, Alain, don’t need a tool to connect or disconnect MC4’s. I’d be happy to make a video and post it on YouTube for you to see.

              Finally, BINGO on the “it doesn’t make any sense to use that (MC4) connector for portable temporary connections.” That’s why I said “They aren’t made for that” and why, in my opinion, should not be used on Aptera.

            • Dennis Swaney

              Member
              August 10, 2022 at 7:22 pm

              I just viewed the article that Ray posted. Since I had never heard of these connectors before my sole information was that article. So if I got the wrong idea, blame the article for misinformation. Since the connector was to be used for TEMPORARY connections of external solar panels, it sounded stupid to allow connections to be made by hand but then it be mandated that disconnections could only be done with the use of a tool. When you explained that the connectors supposedly have a short 100 connect/disconnect operations before they have to be replaced, that also indicated this connector was a bad choice for temporary usage for the Aptera. If in your experience you found that the required tool is in reality NOT needed, that IS good to know, but the bottomline is that we agree the MC4 connector is the wrong part for the intended Aptera usage.

            • Alain Chuzel

              Member
              August 10, 2022 at 7:32 pm

              You got the wrong idea because the only article you read was incomplete rather than a source of “misinformation”. I’d be happy to expound if you’d like but it does seem the point is moot.

  • Elzo Stubbe

    Member
    July 24, 2022 at 10:20 am

    for even more electricity: propellors….hahaha….

  • Fanfare 100

    Member
    July 26, 2022 at 6:39 am

    Eventually, one possibility could also be Photovoltaic Glass: https://www.power-technology.com/analysis/the-state-of-solar-glass/ Enjoy!

  • cody dahl

    Member
    August 8, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    I was planning on DIYing this when I got my aptera, ultimately I won’t know untell I get one but I am hoping to make one that doesn’t block the dash panels while still blocking the sun out of the rest of the cabin.

  • Vernon Sinnott

    Member
    August 8, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    This is a great idea.

  • Blaze Sanders

    Member
    August 9, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Agree and I also don’t love the look of solar panels on the interior of the car.

    Getting the solar panel better angled to sun will also help with efficiency.

  • David Freeborn

    Member
    August 9, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    I think it is an excellent idea as an after market option. My daily commute will be 90ish miles. I am choosing the 600 mile model. Living in the DC area means decent solar charging but I would gain a little more with my Aptera parked in the sun for the 8 hours at work gaining a trickle of energy. I hope to gain a few additional miles by having a few solar panels on the south facing roof of a carport housing my small camper on the weekends. I may never need to plug the Aptera into the grid unless I go on an extended trip.

    My daughter had a used VW Jetta (2004 I think), that came with a small solar panel that plugged into the cigarette lighter. Never used it but thought it an interesting idea.

  • john Bussjaeger

    Member
    August 11, 2022 at 11:20 am

    The ceiling of the car is probably going to have a nice looking cover board instead of simply painting the frame (like every other car;) all they need to do is put in a pocket and some simple rails into this cover like a simplified sunroof pocket. INSTEAD of a sunroof it’s a pull down sun cover for the windsheild! It need not be complex… and you put SOLAR on the panel. I’m imagining something akin to a garage door but without rails on the sides…

    A good tough latch can keep it in place (so it doesn’t fall down if you slam on the breaks.)

    I’ve been trying to get somebody to pick up on this idea for years. I may attempt to make one for my Aptera; without the solar cells…. although Aptera should put out specs on the PV system and design it for upgrades (they already said they want people to be able to replace PV panels with newer better ones in the future.) So one should be able to tap into their PV system and add more PV to it.

    • Qiang Fu

      Member
      August 11, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      @john Bussjaeger – excellent idea! If it can be pulled in stages, it can even serve as a sun visor since the teaser pictures do not show a visor for gamma.

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Qiang Fu. Reason: typo: "do not show..."
    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      August 11, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      Seeing as how I make specialty solar panels for a living, and I love the Aptera, when you’re ready to “prototype” the solar, reach out to me (SunCat Solar, LLC).

      • Harry Parker

        Moderator
        August 11, 2022 at 5:54 pm

        Ha! The solar panel prototyping started years ago. It’s done. The production intent design will be shown in a few days with the Gamma reveal.

        • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Harry Parker. Reason: Added “ha” 😃
        • Alain Chuzel

          Member
          August 11, 2022 at 7:46 pm

          First, for Aptera’s “on board” solar (hood, roof, dash, hatch, tail), I don’t believe “the solar panel prototyping started years ago”. More like maybe a year as the solar lead engineer wasn’t hired until June of 2021.

          Second, the person starting this portion of this thread, John Bussjaeger, is talking about a possible “pull down sun cover for the windshield” with solar on it. I’m pretty sure no one at Aptera has been “prototyping” such a thing.

          Ha!

          • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Alain Chuzel.
          • Harry Parker

            Moderator
            August 11, 2022 at 8:11 pm

            Sorry. I misunderstood which solar you were talking about.

            Co-CEO Chris Anthony was testing curved solar panel performance since before they announced the Aptera.

            • Alain Chuzel

              Member
              August 12, 2022 at 7:04 am

              No apologies required sir!

              Personally I don’t think “testing curved solar panel performance” qualifies as prototyping.

          • Don Daniels

            Member
            August 17, 2022 at 11:29 am

            It doesn’t have to be built in, a fold up sunscreen that you keep in the back and fold out into the windshield when you park would be just fine. A durable plug connector along one side would be sufficient. I do not want the glare on my windshield when driving that I saw in one video. I prefer a smooth non-reflective dash and a sunscreen when parked. Second best would be an exhaust fan using a small portion of that dash generated power to exhaust the hot air from the car and keeping it closer to ambient temperature when parked. Efficiency option, enough fan to protect the electronics and allow you to turn the fan on high before you head to the car so it is cooler when you get in. I just wonder how it will work on those 110-120 degree days in some areas.

            • Dennis Swaney

              Member
              August 17, 2022 at 2:44 pm

              “… would be an exhaust fan using a small portion of that dash generated power to exhaust the hot air from the car and keeping it closer to ambient temperature when parked.”

              Don, that is already part of the design and has been mentioned in several threads.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      August 12, 2022 at 11:41 am

      Nothing like this or other ideas for a solar screen, solar on visors etc. is going to happen for this iteration of Apterae. Perhaps good ideas for the next Aptera, the four wheel version.

      The engineering for the Aptera that will be sold to customers is done. At this point Aptera is reconciling the engineering with the supply chain to validate parts availability with design and making adjustments where needed.

      There are also engineering reasons for not implementing these ideas that have to do with solar cell connectivity and durability/reliability which are moot at this point since there is not time/plan for implementation.

  • Michael McLean

    Member
    August 12, 2022 at 8:18 am

    If the temperature between a sun visor and windshield is too high, it could affect the amount of power the cells of an internally mounted solar reflector can produce, since solar cells become less efficient when heated. Solar cells are often dark so they may absorb more radiant energy than a more reflective sun visor.

    • Alain Chuzel

      Member
      August 12, 2022 at 2:07 pm

      If SunPower/Maxeon solar cells were used, there would only be about a 15% reduction in peak power if the cells were 75 C (167 F) rather than what they can deliver at the rated 25 C (77 F).

  • Leo Shapiro

    Member
    August 12, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    I have put a 15w anker solar panel on my sunscreen while it charges my power bank in my car. I don’t see why a car like this wouldn’t benefit from an extra 50-100w solar panel, even if it has low efficiency.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Leo Shapiro.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Leo Shapiro.
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