Solar power panel for shed fan

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by NAlberto, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. NAlberto

    NAlberto Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    I am looking into connect an extractor fan (based on the solar panel output) on my shed to circulate the air inside to minimise mould creation. - Air vent on one side, extractor on the other.

    Anyone has experience with solar panels or is using one on their shed that could advise me a "good one"??:please:
    There are thousands of them on amazon but then again I don't trust the reviews as these can be manipulated and or paid for.

    Thank you :SUNsmile:
     
  2. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    I think @CanadianLori uses solar power for some of her greenhouse power. She may be able to help but she's in Canada and may be able to purchase different makes from those available here.
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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      Have tried the solar pond pumps and unless its strong sun like this week the flow is almost non existance so expect the cheap solar fans will be similar and next to useless as its during the non sunshine times you really need the fan blowing.

      If you have mains power in there, some of the larger USB fans give a decent air flow but use little power compared to a mains powered fan.

      Have to ask why is mould etc a problem, is it a metal shed ?
       
    • CanadianLori

      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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      Hello @NAlberto,
      I run al of my fans from solar power. Some are direct connected to run when the sunshines and when it is most needed. Some run on batteries using power collected by solar panels. Some run pretty constantly like the server fans which are 12" diameter. The overhead dc fans run direct but throuh dc timers to cycle on every half hour for about 6 minutes.

      I use dc timers to run the server fans at night and some LED lighting. Batteries come in handy :)

      I use solar power to pump water in the bird bidet.

      I use solar power to pump water from the rain barrels into the greenhouse troughs which feed the capillary watering system.

      All of mine are one brand, Coleman, which is sold at our Canadian Tire stores. I haven't bought any so,ar panels larger than a few watts through Amazon because I like to pick mine up and inspect the packaging to make sure they are in unopened boxes.

      If you're worried about the brand, start with a small test one. If it makes you happy, then you know you're okay.

      These are a couple of the fans, server and overhead.


      1627051272779-1394261415.jpg
      This is one small arrays of 40 watt panels. 4 power batteries in the cellar. 2 go direct to fans. I have 3 more 40 watt panels and 4 panels that are 20 or 25 watts which run direct to the greenhouses during the day.

      To me, the fans are most needed when the sun shines or when I am heating the greenhouse at night.1627051319096-1917044612.jpg
       
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      • NAlberto

        NAlberto Apprentice Gardener

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        The Shed currently has no ventilation whatsoever. windows are screwed , the only way to get "fresh" air is to open the door.
        "Plan" is to put some vents on one wall, one extractor on the opposite wall and a fan to move the air in the middle :phew:
         
      • NAlberto

        NAlberto Apprentice Gardener

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        Thank you for this @CanadianLori. it does give me an idea indeed. I guess my main issue will be the sun indeed as @ricky101 says, since I live in the UK. I will start small and will go from there. worst case scenario will have to use usb from mains.
         
      • CanadianLori

        CanadianLori Total Gardener

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        If you just give the hot air a place to escape (vent) and an opening down low, the hot air escaping will take care of drawing the cooler air in. The same as for a greenhouse.

        You just then need a fan inside to regularly stir the air throughout the structure. Those little overhead fans actually make the plants sitting near the floor, wave around like they're in a good breeze. Quite efficient little things! There's lots of little fans that use low wattage.

        You'll have fun playing with this project :)
         
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        • NAlberto

          NAlberto Apprentice Gardener

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          yea that is why I joined this forum :) to get some ideas, as like yourself, there is always someone that thought about it
          My humble shedShed.JPG , I don't have bobble heads in it though ;)
           
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          • Sandy Ground

            Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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            From my own experiences of solar panels, but not related to a gardening application.

            About 4 or 5 years ago, I put together a system. I'd calculated that for the use I was putting them to I needed 180w. The dealer I bought the items from told me that I was wrong, and only needed 90w. In the end, it turned out that he was wrong, but thats another story..

            The system I ended up using was a 90w monocrystalline panel, charging two 75A batteries through an MPPT controller. When the "primary" battery was charged, it threw a switch and charged the secondary. All of the power electrical systems normally used was taken from the primary, and when it was discharged, the switch returned to its original position. This cycle continued.

            If I did the same thing today, then I would do things differently. First off, I would use larger solar panels. Not 90w as before, but 360 watts worth. At the same time, I would not use monocrystallines, but the newer Thin Film types. Although at present these are less efficient to the ones I used, they are cheaper and work better in low light conditions.
             
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            • ricky101

              ricky101 Total Gardener

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              What about trying a simple passive system to start with, such as a low level wall inlet at one end of the shed and an outlet at the other end just below the ridge/apex.
              Plenty of low cost suitable fittings at places like Screwfix etc
              https://www.screwfix.com/c/heating-plumbing/air-vents/cat840496

              If they do not provide enough airflow then you have everything in place to add a small fan.
               
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