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Old 08-07-2009, 06:02 PM   #1
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Solar roof vents... or regular?

Has anyone installed a solar powered roof vent fan? If so, did they find it useful, or was it just an ineffective hole in the roof?

I'm looking at a couple of them right now on ebay and would really like to find a way to vent the bus without keeping the windows down. Also looking at a normal non-powered vent. Not sure which would be better at this point.

Also... what about solar battery charging kits from NorthernTool? They're not cheap, but since I don't start the bus very often yet, I'm looking to get something better than the nuthin' I currently got.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Solar roof vents... or regular?

I'm pondering a power roof vent at each end of our bus. Our wood stove is mounted about mid point in the bus and roof vents at each end seems like a good way to spread the heat more evenly. My thoughts were more along the lines of something DC, because I've got a pretty big roof rack.

This winter when I was framing I temp installed the sheet metal wood stove we use in our tent for long term camping. By cracking a window for and aft it heated the bus tolerable even. It surprised me how little wood it took to keep the bus warm (if not hot) even when the temps were below zero.

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Old 08-09-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: Solar roof vents... or regular?

I have a REALLY small RV/Cargo trailer (8X4.5X5'T) that I installed a wind open roof vent that has a 12v fan built it than I run off of a little 12 volt battery & it does move a decent amount of air if I open the 2 small side windows. I am adding a 15w solar panel & a better battery as with solar of course it would only work under sun without the battery... If you had a few of these I think it would make a difference plus just having the vents open will make a difference.. I am going to add a fan to the hatch in our bus.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: Solar roof vents... or regular?

Anyone know of a solar fan that can take the exhaust heat and smoke? Mount it in the chimney, let it soak up its power during the day for use at night.
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Re: Solar roof vents... or regular?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojakai
Anyone know of a solar fan that can take the exhaust heat and smoke? Mount it in the chimney, let it soak up its power during the day for use at night.
May be a strange question, but... why would you need a solar fan in a chimney? Wouldn't a chimney vent naturally?

Now, when I finally get a bathroom installed, I could see using a small solar fan in the toilet vent system to help with composting. But why something like a stove?
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Solar roof vents... or regular?

Well, my thoughts on it are...

When starting the fire, it helps ventilate (I hate hyperventilating over kindling). No worries about the exhaust cooling down too much to make it out the top. Turn it on right before you open the door to keep the smoke from come out when you open it. Another way to vent the bus on hot days...

Why not?

I know its not a normal thing, but when a question pops into my head and sticks for about a week, I have to ask it. I tend to tamp down the sillier questions... But this one struck me as a "Why not? I think it would work." type.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: Solar roof vents... or regular?

Not knowing anything about wood stoves, I can see where your reasoning makes sense.

As long as the mechanical pieces of the fan are heat resistant, and as long as you have a way to clean and grease/oil the fan on a periodic basis, I see no reason why putting one in the chimney wouldn't work. As long as the wires to the solar panel are properly insulated, and the panel itself is out of the heat zone, I can't see anything wrong with your theory.

If you do it, please take lots of pictures and keep us updated!
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