Solar power panels on hood and roof

fritter63

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I am NOT an engineer, but I have exceptional 3-D abilities/imagination. I actually can do 3-D visualizations from 2-D diagrams so well I was tested, and then retested twice.
I am curious what you were being tested for?

The Pace Edwards rolltop tonneau cover on my Dodge rolled up into a 9" x 9" ( x 5 footish) box - took up that much space in the bed. And that was for an 8 foot bed. So this one would be smaller. I think having it stay flat would really add complexity in having a large flat cavity under the bed floor for it go into, but also from a mechanical motor perspective, where you'd need a way to push/push the cover over a larger distance without binding. Although could be that the gear drive wheels to accomplish that are right under the rear window, which means that they're just moving the the cover along from that point (in which case the moving gears are traveling along the length of the cover as it moves).

If it rolls up into a box like a commercial garage door, then the motors driving that would on that one central shaft that it rolls up onto. That actually may cause some binding issues when being rolled out.

Not sure I'm explaining this well, I'm better at 3D visualization then I am at words. :)

However, Sandy Munro has addressed this topic and said that he was well familiar with these types of covers in the aircraft industry (he couldn't go into details because it was classified), but that they were very reliable.





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lukefrisbee

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fritter63
We are the same concerning:
"Not sure I'm explaining this well, I'm better at 3D visualization then I am at words. :)"
I Was being tested for some federal government scholarship money. The 3-d section had nothing directly to do with the field. I felt the Testers were personally interested in my 3'D score, as if they had taken the test and done well, or knew someone who had, and they were unhappy I did so well. Of course this is all in retrospect. At the time I thought they were retesting me as part of the normal process, but with the third battery I was wondering what was up. Only after they watched me and scored my test did they tell me they had done three rounds because my score was highly irregular.
At that point they also told me I had done "ok" on other aspects of the exam as well.
But like I said, the skill only helps me when I am loading a truck..or a tupperware container.
 

lukefrisbee

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Tesla engineers have a huge opportunity to impress the "pooh pooh" out of us if they come up with a really smooth "outside the box/vault" idea on how to get the tonneau cover to disappear in relation to the back wall of the cab.
 

fritter63

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As a followup to what I trying to explain earlier, here is a quick and dirty diagram of what I think it would need to be to have the cover retract under the bed and stay flat, as opposed to being rolled up around a drum. In this scenario, the motor driven cog is stationary and the tonneau cover simple travels "along" that cog. When closed, the bottom end of the tonneau cover is at the cog. When open, the TOP end of the cover is at the cog. By definition, the cog would need to be located in the center of the total travel length so that it can engage to both extremes (open and closed). You would want one cog an each side of the cover to make sure nothing binds up. There would be matching teeth on the cover as well to engage the gear, but I don't have time to model that as well.

Anyway, I don't the point in spending much time speculating on this, I'm sure Tesla engineers went through all this before presenting it to the world.

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Dids

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As a followup to what I trying to explain earlier, here is a quick and dirty diagram of what I think it would need to be to have the cover retract under the bed and stay flat, as opposed to being rolled up around a drum. In this scenario, the motor driven cog is stationary and the tonneau cover simple travels "along" that cog. When closed, the bottom end of the tonneau cover is at the cog. When open, the TOP end of the cover is at the cog. By definition, the cog would need to be located in the center of the total travel length so that it can engage to both extremes (open and closed). You would want one cog an each side of the cover to make sure nothing binds up. There would be matching teeth on the cover as well to engage the gear, but I don't have time to model that as well.

Anyway, I don't the point in spending much time speculating on this, I'm sure Tesla engineers went through all this before presenting it to the world.

Untitled.jpg
I like your drawing... but I very much hope that you are wrong on the design. Cog driven seems doomed for dirt and wear. I would much rather it be a cable loop so that the cover is always pulled and never pushed. The advantage of a cable loop is dirt impervious, softer start. The cable could be returning from the back of the bed... but this kind of drive precludes a rolled door.
 

lukefrisbee

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I like your drawing... but I very much hope that you are wrong on the design. Cog driven seems doomed for dirt and wear. I would much rather it be a cable loop so that the cover is always pulled and never pushed. The advantage of a cable loop is dirt impervious, softer start. The cable could be returning from the back of the bed... but this kind of drive precludes a rolled door.
I liked his diagram as well...but your vision. And agree, my idea of "This will give the Tesla engineers a great opportunity to do something outside the Box/vault".
 

Dids

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Tesla engineers have a huge opportunity to impress the "pooh pooh" out of us if they come up with a really smooth "outside the box/vault" idea on how to get the tonneau cover to disappear in relation to the back wall of the cab.
The cover goes between the bed wall and the cab. If the cover goes lower than the bed wall won't the gap get filled with whatever you are loading.... I cant think of a way to prevent this other than a weird opening lid... they need the bed wall so the cover can come up and they need the cab wall for well, cab. I just dont see how they are going to do a pass through lower than the window.
 

lukefrisbee

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The cover goes between the bed wall and the cab. If the cover goes lower than the bed wall won't the gap get filled with whatever you are loading.... I cant think of a way to prevent this other than a weird opening lid... they need the bed wall so the cover can come up and they need the cab wall for well, cab. I just dont see how they are going to do a pass through lower than the window.
Exactly. And that is why I stated that the Tesla engineers can shine when they solve this.
 

TyPope

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The article loses credibility when they fail to recognize the rolling tonneau cover of the vault was where Elon stated the solar charging cells would be located. Even in the mock-up the rolling tonneau cover "disappeared."

On a personal note I would LOVE it if the rolling tonneau cover "disappeared" for real for the following reasons:
Just plain EXPENSIVE

Probably will get hung up or break more often than alternatives

Likely to leak more often than the alternatives

And my biggest concern: The tonneau cover has to come through the back wall of the cab to cover the vault, and it is stored in the "bottom" of the Cyber. It is an engineering challenge to make access from inside the cab to the vault free from dangers, and to make the wall between the two move out of the way to allow good access to the vault.

I am NOT an engineer, but I have exceptional 3-D abilities/imagination. I actually can do 3-D visualizations from 2-D diagrams so well I was tested, and then retested twice. The third time the two testers sat and watched me. They claimed it was because they were interested. It felt like they were trying to see how I was cheating. But in the end they told me I scored higher than anyone they had tested before. I told them it came from my Summer Job in College. I used to go with a crew in a U-haul to the Northeastern USA, and fill it full of salvaged "Architectural antiques." You try getting as much gingerbread, bannisters, and wainscoting into truck without damaging it. Doing 3-d visualizations is easy after you've developed that skill..

Anyway, I just find it hard to see how the engineers are going to resolve all the issues of the rolling tonneau cover going through that back wall of the cab and also allow the cab to open up into the vault.
I don't agree. I had a Pace Edwards Jackrabbit tonneau cover on my F-350 and it worked flawlessly for years. It rolls up into a little box at the front of the bed and it would be easy to just roll it into a small box below the bed level as well. It was leak-free, too.
 

TyPope

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The article loses credibility when they fail to recognize the rolling tonneau cover of the vault was where Elon stated the solar charging cells would be located. Even in the mock-up the rolling tonneau cover "disappeared."

On a personal note I would LOVE it if the rolling tonneau cover "disappeared" for real for the following reasons:
Just plain EXPENSIVE

Probably will get hung up or break more often than alternatives

Likely to leak more often than the alternatives

And my biggest concern: The tonneau cover has to come through the back wall of the cab to cover the vault, and it is stored in the "bottom" of the Cyber. It is an engineering challenge to make access from inside the cab to the vault free from dangers, and to make the wall between the two move out of the way to allow good access to the vault.

I am NOT an engineer, but I have exceptional 3-D abilities/imagination. I actually can do 3-D visualizations from 2-D diagrams so well I was tested, and then retested twice. The third time the two testers sat and watched me. They claimed it was because they were interested. It felt like they were trying to see how I was cheating. But in the end they told me I scored higher than anyone they had tested before. I told them it came from my Summer Job in College. I used to go with a crew in a U-haul to the Northeastern USA, and fill it full of salvaged "Architectural antiques." You try getting as much gingerbread, bannisters, and wainscoting into truck without damaging it. Doing 3-d visualizations is easy after you've developed that skill..

Anyway, I just find it hard to see how the engineers are going to resolve all the issues of the rolling tonneau cover going through that back wall of the cab and also allow the cab to open up into the vault.
It goes between the cab and bed. It doesn't go into the cab. I had a tonneau cover like this in my last truck. It was strong and worked fine the whole time I owned the truck. While it was a $2,000 add-on at the time, I doubt Tesla will spend anything like that on this one.
 

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So this thread got hijacked.....

Solar cell integration into the body work enables so much to the vehicle use case. I like the idea of a pop up camper in the vault so the the pop top and the bonnet could be angled to the sun for the best output.

Probably not quite enough output to practically recharge the vehicle but certainly enough to run a camp without reducing effective range of the vehicle.

The other option could be a series of fold out panels from the pop top and bonnet/Frunck. This might have an appreciable influence on vehicle range when overlanding.

The aftermarket options for Cybertruck are going to be so different from the current truck accessories.
 

Ehninger1212

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Solar panel tech is getting better and better everyday, i wouldnt be surprised if most people's commutes are covered by the suns energy if the vehicle is parked to optimize the solar angle. My office is moving, my daily commute will become 15.4 miles. almost 100% covered!
 

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When I think as an amateur engineer about a problem, I try to find similar real world designs that appear to not have the problem first. Leading me to...roller coasters.

They sit outside, exposed to all the dirt our cars would see. The simple tubular track plus rubber wheels work mostly flawlessly. But their scale (width of tubing) makes dirt less relevant, and Tesla obviously can’t use 4” steel tubes as guides...but I hope they ultimately go for a simple, robust mechanism that is easy to clean/repair by the owner rather than an intricate design that works great new but turns into a creaky, finicky feature that doesn’t hold up over time. Imagine 2 years into ownership and when you open the vault it’s grinding, screetching, or shuddering....and half way through opening gets racked and stuck in position. Simple, easy maintenance and heavy duty is my preference even if at the expense of design aesthetics.

To not be a total hijacker...personally I don't think I’d want solar cells covering the vehicle. I want to enjoy an unobstructed view through the roof, clean lines on the front hood, and the ability to wrap the car occasionally if I want a different look.

Somebody’s needs to invent clear solar panels 😁
 

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Somebody’s needs to invent clear solar panels 😁
Thin film translucent solar already exists, it’s output is low and it’s expensive per kW. Ballarat University (Victoria, Australia) has a building with it installed. Could be a good idea instead of window tint if economies of scale can reduce the $/kW & kW/m2
 

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Thin film translucent solar already exists, it’s output is low and it’s expensive per kW. Ballarat University (Victoria, Australia) has a building with it installed. Could be a good idea instead of window tint if economies of scale can reduce the $/kW & kW/m2
They also have translucent solar glass, same thing though.. output very low.
 

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