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Model 3 may have Solar Roof that can charge the vehicle

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by X-Auto, Nov 25, 2016.

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  1. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Rabid glass? :)
     
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  2. WileyTheMan

    WileyTheMan Peanut Gallery Member

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    A nice-to-have, but not a showstopper in my opinion. I'd be ok with not having the option in the initial release. I am getting increasingly worried that the release date is in jeopardy.
     
  3. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I never noticed this wasn't there!
     
  4. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Based on what? Elon has told stockholders that the schedule is on track.

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  5. WileyTheMan

    WileyTheMan Peanut Gallery Member

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    Well, based on what I'm hearing from Tesla employees I know. They are not directly working with the Model 3 (hence not total dismay), but the outlook I get is generally "I would be really surprised if it made the target dates" and "you'll get it eventually".

    Again, I'm well aware that it's an incredibly important product for Tesla and they are working 24/7 to make it happen. But Uncle Elon also doesn't have the best track record for timeframes, so all of it combined just got me worried.
     
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  6. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Well, we all started with that understanding. what is increasing your worry?

    Thank you kindly.
     
  7. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    Nissan did it too. My Leaf SL has a solar panel on the spoiler above the hatch. It's tiny and only maintains the 12v but the cells are from 2012 and the area not much bigger than a 8x11 envelope.

    With all glass roof putting cells above the tint in the heavily tinted portion you could have a much larger area and still keep the cost low.
     
  8. WileyTheMan

    WileyTheMan Peanut Gallery Member

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    Like I said, its getting the negative feedback from Tesla employees which is increasing my worry. That wouldn't worry you just a bit if friends/relatives of yours who were Tesla employees were providing that feedback?
     
  9. 3Victoria

    3Victoria Active Member

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    Well, given this is vague third party info, it is difficult to assess it. You will have to be more explicit, since at this point it is equivalent to rumour. Do you mean not make the July 1 date?
     
  10. WileyTheMan

    WileyTheMan Peanut Gallery Member

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    I kind of should not have brought it up (especially in a thread where it's not on topic). It's not a direct source so it's not worth a hill of beans.
     
  11. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    Exactly.
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    #52 Canuck, Nov 28, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
    Yes, I have one on mine too and the 12 volt battery still died repeatedly and I had to replace the battery after less than 3 years. It's a gimmick as are any solar panels on a vehicle since those panels take resources and energy to make and as such, in my view, we have an obligation to place them where they will at least be useful, and not in a garage under a roof where many vehicles spend their days.
     
  13. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Generally, I agree. I suppose the argument could be made that increasing the demand for those panels also drives increases in efficiencies related to production, therefore making them cheaper (financially and from a resource perspective). In which case, they do more good than the energy they create.

    I'm not sure how to quantify that argument. But it could be made... by someone.
     
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  14. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    No. I only update on NEW information.

    Thank you kindly.
     
  15. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    That argument would be missing that any increases in efficiency must be divided over BOTH the panels that use it and the panels with ZERO efficiency (because they aren't being used).

    Thank you kindly.
     
  16. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #56 Ulmo, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
    Here's exactly what I currently think:
    1. I have written that I think cars can fully self-charge for single owner single user vehicles in regular commutes. Here's my post: How Long Till Solar Powered Car?
    2. I have written that that might be up to 15-20 years away.
    3. Meanwhile, looking at your quotes, Elon himself said not with current layout, so, in other words, "no", unless you get an umbrella, which is kind of (not entirely) a joke -- remember, Elon still wants methods that work on Mars, etc.
    4. I have written that self-driving cars that don't have a single user will be used in duty cycles approaching 16 to 24 hours per day, 5 to 7 days per week (probably close to 19 hours a day, 7 days a week). This does a bunch of interesting things, and for this topic, it is this: even a 40% efficiency umbrella charger would not be enough power to charge the vehicle while it is in motion for the amount of energy it would use, and of course, an umbrella charger would be impractical while driving. Therefore, there is no added benefit to the added weight or cost of the solar panels on a high-duty-cycle vehicle; they would be better suited to fast charging every few hours, which fast chargers themselves are powered by solar panels, windmills, and other electric storage facilities. (Counter forces are: in-road charging; sharing energy from car trains (cars would hook into trains while driving, and would share energy (as well as have less wind resistance)); self-driving cars would give more value to the time of the riders, so they would not have as much cost per time, so they would not have to drive as fast, and would save a lot of energy by driving slower. All these counter forces aren't enough to make on-car solar effective enough to overcome that distance limitation. Copy of same concepts I already posted: Short-Term TSLA Price Movements - 2016)
    5. By the time self-driving cars are here, the only people who will benefit from on-car solar are those who do not let anybody else ride in their cars. Do I think there will be some people like that? Yes. Do I think that for those people on-car solar will be affordable and work well? Yes, in about two decades. DO I think that will be the norm? No; see #4. Also, I think Elon knows essentially what I know (I'm sure he has other ideas than mine and doesn't always know all my ideas); so, see #3 where he says "no".
    So, to recap:

    Possible? Yes, absolutely and useful if it were available today before self driving cars.

    Will it happen for normal income people (Model 3 buyers?) Absolutely not, because of the timing; self-driving will make it irrelevant and the solar feature will not be developed in time to beat self driving to market.

    I.e., no. Except:

    Solar collecting cars will miss the mass market by a decade, is my resultant conclusion. They will still enjoy niche possibilities, such as any car of any sort that sits still unused for large periods of time. This will be rich people that don't want others in their vehicle, as well as well to do people, and some storage units on wheels (trailers), and some backup equipment (SWAT team vans, fire trucks, emergency response type stuff that has to be in full working ready to go order, but typically just sits around -- at least you don't want a high duty cycle on emergency equipment most of the time (!)). Mars vehicles during early start up stages when things are high risk and relatively costly would fall into this category (expensive users, possible emergency use, etc., regardless of duty cycle -- what if your power plant fails, and you need to go someplace? The vehicle's builtin solar collection would be life-saving, possibly human-kind-saving, even if in normal duty cycles they're just costly useless addons.).


    Notice something however: I did not always think this. Do you know why? Because, decades ago, I did not know whether self-driving cars or high efficiency solar collection cars (with large batteries like Tesla, obviously) would make it to market first. Now, I know. As a result, I used to be much more pro-solar-collecting-car, and I was right, because back then, I didn't know self-driving would get here first. Notice how currently I'm still in favor of it as an expensive option for those who don't want to rent out their vehicles. I predict availability no sooner than 5-10 years at best, possibly decades at worst.
     
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  17. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    Multijunction cells are the most efficient in the world and even these have relatively low theoretical limits. Current world record is 34.5% for unfocused light. (the theoretical limit on the same device is only 53% according to the article.)

    I'm going to go ahead and say we will never have true solar powered cars unless you count solar power generated by larger solar installations. That said, I think energy storage in the future will get so much better that the very idea of a solar powered car would be irrelevant.
     
  18. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    To look at things from the other direction, let's say we were willing to do whatever it took to get solar self powered cars. 1) Move ALL high speed truck transport to rails; this alone would save about 30% of the fuel used by this sector. 2) Restrict ALL vehicles to 1000(?) pounds and reassess all safety ratings based on BOTH cars in any collision. [stop this stupid arms race to heavier cars] 3) Enlarge parking spaces where needed to hold longer vehicles. 4) Make vehicles long (and perhaps narrower) for improved aerodynamics. 5) Get ALL cars under 0.20 Cd. 6) Get over the perceived need to drive fast. 7) Medium distance, and ALL city passengers on rail.

    I think that is it, We could have all solar cars, some solar trains, fewer parking or traffic issues, and all the other obvious benefits, with today's technology. Forget what other people would think of this idea. Would YOU being willing to do what is necessary?

    Thank you kindly.
     
  19. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    You can't compare with asphalt shingles. Elon never said that Solar Roof would be cost competitive with such cheap stuff, rather it will be competitive with equivalent conventional products; clay tiles, Spanish tiles, and slate. That makes your hypothetical cost 4 to 6 times higher; so $575 to 850.
     
  20. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Those linked articles have in common that they have taken two Elon statements and decided that they add up to solar roof on Model 3. Elon said that solar tile technology will be shared with Model 3, but that likely just means that the strength and formability properties of the glass is shared. Similarly, the capability to imbed heating elements in glass would benefit solar roofs in the same way that it does rear window defrosters in cars.

    BTW, one of the formatting options on this site is dark gray background upon which normal text appears white. Your choice to display your Elon quote in blue letters renders it unreadable on the gray background. :(
     

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