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Old 01-11-2013, 03:01 PM
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Jtarpley131 Jtarpley131 is offline
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Default Making a greenhouse...solar panels?



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I am getting the supplies together to build a greenhouse. Specifically a hoop house. It will be 12 foot wide by 16 foot long. I have been reading and researching the best way to set it up and I see that I'm going to need to install some fans for summer. What I was wondering is how difficult is it to run 1 or 2 small fans on solar power and how can I find the best setup for this? I have googled and just don't see exactly what I'm looking for. I am familiar with the greenhouse setup but solar power is still confusing to me! Any tips or ideas on what you would do would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:08 PM
H'ville H'ville is offline
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I was just thinking how nice it would be to have solar power (just a little) in the barn to run the two fans....hope someone gives us some tips soon....
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:45 PM
Tackleberry41 Tackleberry41 is offline
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They sell 12v fans that wouldn't require all the excess stuff usually required with solar.

Regular 110v variable speed box fans etc they sell will run, but they tend to not like the power coming from a 110v inverter. They can hum alot, unless run at the highest setting. I have never run them long enough, to know if it might damage them.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:53 PM
jeff_jeff jeff_jeff is offline
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I installed a solar powered attic fan as a vent fan for my greenhouse. I also have a 15 watt panel running a couple small computer type fans. It works ok, but not great - just not the same power as a plug in fan, especially when the sun is not directly in line. Also more expensive to do. I ended up also plugging in a cheap oscillating 110v room fan to keep air moving better.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:22 PM
MadJack MadJack is offline
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heating and electric motors are BIG power suckers for solar to keep up with. Your best bet is a large drop down vent/door up high on one end, and a ground vent on the opposite end wall.
When both are open and the sun up, thermal convection works for free!
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:24 PM
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If heat is a real issue, google for "wet wall". There is plenty of DIY info
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadJack View Post
heating and electric motors are BIG power suckers for solar to keep up with. Your best bet is a large drop down vent/door up high on one end, and a ground vent on the opposite end wall.
When both are open and the sun up, thermal convection works for free!
Air movement thru convection works great vertically. Not so much horizontally. I own a greenhouse business and know that a vent open on either end of the greenhouse does diddly for cooling (no matter where they are located) unless you have some high-power fans moving the air horizontally.

OP. Try looking at www.farmtek.com for solar-powered fans. They are understrength but maybe with several of them you will get enough air movement.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:28 PM
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ZombieHoneyBadger ZombieHoneyBadger is offline
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The best 12v fans are made by Fantastic- look for the Fantastic . It moves significantly more air than other 12 volt fans.

Pricey, however.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:06 AM
Trotline Trotline is offline
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Go to the Junkyard and pull the ELECTRIC FANS off newer cars radiators. There 12v and push alot of air.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:44 AM
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And yet another option : mount a solar powered attic fan when the sun comes up and it hits the panel, it starts expelling hot air (kind of like POTUS) and doesn't stop all day. When the sun goes down: viola, no more power from the PV cells and no need for it as the temperature is cooling anyway. Allows your greenhouse to be completely off grid as these are sold as single piece units.

Glad to help.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:15 PM
madscotsman26 madscotsman26 is offline
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In My Greenhouses I just have simple Roll up sides, That lets plenty of Air in, and to get Cross ventilation simply install a screen door and a Louvered Vent that you can prop open on the opposite end. It depends on your Hottest day average and sustained amount of Excessive heat days in your area. After that is determined you can figure if and what size Fan you will need to supplement the Roll up sides. There are Solar vent fans that are designed for Horizontal applications only, If you mount them vertically the Bearings cannot take the weight of the motor and fan blades and don't last long. You should do a lot of research when considering a Greenhouse, Hoophouse and cold Frames. If you make the wrong choices you will end up spending much more Money than you will ever get back in Vegetables, Fruit etc.
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