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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,124

    Default Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    I was at Lowes looking at the Solar Attic Fans. Picked on out and proceeded to the check out. I was looking at it and though I can make one of this myself cheaper than $250.00. This is where I need some help. Since I have no idea what to do. I figured I can do some hunting online and find some good deals on the parts I need. Got the basics covered. Solar panel and fan. What else do I need? I am guessing most of the fans I find will be 110 volt. So I need to convert it somehow.

    Looking for the gable type fan. Here is the one I was looking at.

    http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/pro...larGable.shtml
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
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    2,240

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    you'll need a charge controller, storage battery, and an inverter(or possibly change blades on a car heater fan motor) and a thermostat. plus you'll have to maintain the battery if you use a wet cell(much cheaper,but more work). good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Talbot Co., MD
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    you'll need a...
    I could be wrong but I don't think you need any of that. The purpose is to vent the attic when the need is highest, when its hot and sunny. I'd keep it as simple as necessary, however, you will need a 12v fan motor. Here is just one supplier:

    http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/fans.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lindley, NY,USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    In Texas in the summer time - I think I be leaning towards one of those fans I see moving air through a dairy barn - big enough to push small birds through
    Fred

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,080

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q...ed=0CCsQsAQwAw

    How about something that really works, uses natural energy and vents an attic more thoroughly than most any fan? Hope the link works, if not just do a search for continuous ridge vents. The link is supposed to be for a number of images. Fans' ability to remove air is limited and questionable - continuous ridge vents with adequate soffit vents actually works. Providing legitimate advice for energy conservation and efficiency is what I do for a living. Selling junk that may or may not work is not what I do. This may be more work than you are willing to go through, but if attic intake and exhaust ventilation is improperly sized, poorly spaced and not well positioned it can work poorly if at all.

    Are you in a climate where you will end up drawing in hot humid air into the attic? I'm not familiar with the local weather in your area. In many cases, going to an encapsulated attic assembly may be a more proper thing to do instead of ventilation.


    I like solar machinery, but they often have limits and as you experienced, come with a very high price tag for the job that gets accomplished.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    "...I'd keep it as simple as necessary..." yep,you could get by with just a solar panel, but to generate enough amperage to run a fan, it would be huge-and EXTREMELY expensive, much more expensive than the unit in question($250) plus you'ld still need a thermostat to tell the fan when to come on. perhaps better to get a small solar panel and store the energy in a battery till the fan was needed. i'm not advocating this as viable, just answering a question on how to build one that MIGHT be cheaper than $250.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Talbot Co., MD
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    yep,you could get by with just a solar panel, but to generate enough amperage to run a fan, it would be huge-and EXTREMELY expensive, much more expensive than the unit in question($250) plus you'ld still need a thermostat to tell the fan when to come on. perhaps better to get a small solar panel and store the energy in a battery till the fan was needed.
    More than one way to skin a cat I guess. I got a really good 20w panel with charge controller for $100. Throw in a spare 55mAh deep cycle I had lying around and 3 - 1w LEDs and that's how I put 14 hours of light in my chicken coop.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    Hambone; Swobee is exactly correct! Gable end fans are the least effective method of ventilating your attic. Ridge vents are cheap, extremely effective and easy to install. If you don't like the appearance of ridge vents, there are also off-ridge vents made to be mounted on the back of the house.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hughes Springs, Texas, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    you can buy a 12 VDC cooling fan from a auto salvage yard ( GM and Fords have big ones)
    and a solar panel from harbor freight. just hook it up the brighter the sun the faster the fan, for free,,,
    But after doing the math you will find its cheaper to just get a 120VAC one and add a buck or two to your power bill or turbine vents.

    pete

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    Haven't looked into ridge vents. I will though.

    I was going to leave out the thermostat and battery to save cost and just have it run as the sun hits the panel. Though I found an old fork lift battery in the shop today. Gotta see if it still holds a charge.

    My house runs East and West. Winds blow North and South. So my gables get no wind flow. I put in sofit vents a couple years ago. Didn't/Doesn't seem to do much. The air up there is stagnet and really freaking hot.

    Haven't read all the replys all the way threw. Will do tomorrow. (I hope) Thanks for the help so far!
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Re: Homemade Solar Attic Fan?

    Hey solar dorks!

    I have a bunch of motors at work. Found a 110 volt one. It's 110 volt, 1 h.p. 1725 rpm. How do I or can I get it to run on solar? Found a few fan blades, and just have to build a frame. No biggie.

    If that motor won't work. I have a much smaller 12 volt dc deer feeder motor I can use. I guess.

    Needing some nerds to speak up.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

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