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Old 07-08-2019, 09:03 PM   #1
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12volt solar fan

I've seen small solar powered fans to be used to draw air across the refrigerator condenser coils. Has anyone done this and did it make a difference.

Aubrey, Debbie a thoroughbread miniature jackass named Crockett. and Charlie Goodnight the Border Collie.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:29 AM   #2
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It makes a difference if the condensor isn't condensing the coolant gas to liquid, which means no cooling. If the condensor is working well enough so that the coolant does indeed condense, then an extra fan makes no different at all.

The rationale for an additional fan is that on very hot days or with a lot of sun-loading on that sidewall, the condensor may have trouble shedding enough heat so that the coolant changes from gas to liquid. Then the fan may save the day. That's why the fan is usually controlled via a thermostat - it is only needed under very hot conditions.

Some fridge models, e.g. the larger ones, come factory equipped with one or more fans and a thermostat.

Solar-powered fans are great from an energy saving point of view, but they do nothing for you if parked in the shade on an extremely hot day. If I thought I needed a fan, I'd choose a 12v powered one unless I only camped in wide open places.

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:47 AM   #3
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I mounted a 6" computer "muffin" fan just under my fridge roof vent to draw air out. It's sole power is a 10W solar panel I velcro'd to the top of the AC unit. When the sun is out, the fan spins, thus helping to dissipate excess heat. No thermostat other than the sun itself! Does it help? Dunno.... Does it hurt? Nope! Cost was labor to put the spare parts together. Seems to help. so I'm good with that. Brighter the sun, hotter the day, faster it spins!
Two and a Hound in a 2015 Prism "B+", pushed by a 2009 Suby Forester.
1st 50 done, working on the 2nd pass! Somewhere over 150k miles to date

2005-2015 Roadtrek 190P, 1993-2005 Northstar Soft-Side TC, 1989-1993 Tents!
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:57 PM   #4
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No matter if you think a fan will help or not, I never cared for the types at the top of the vent system. If you think about it, all that heat is drawn across the fan and is very hard on it. It's also tough to know if it's working unless you go on the roof.

If you're going to install a fan, install it at the side vent, blowing up. You can buy small 12 volt snap disc thermostats that act as a switch. They come on at a desired temp and shut off at a desired temp. They work well 4" or 6" computer fans.

Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:36 PM   #5
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Yes, I have, and yes, it can help. On my coach I have done it both ways, I have a thermostatically controlled fan at the inlet connected to the 12V DC power, as well as a solar powered exhaust fan mounted at the roof top vent. I went a bit fancier on the lower fan as it is a PWM dustproof 120 mm computer fan, connected to a temperature sensor with variable speed output (about $8 on ebay shipped from china, https://www.ebay.com/itm/PWM-4-Wires...S/312613052371 ), meaning the hotter it is the faster the fan blows (and the louder it is). The roof mounted exhaust fan is not nearly so fancy, it is 130 mm Rosewill SEAL IP 56 dust proof computer fan (non PWM version) connected directly to a small cheap 4 watt solar panel. This provides enough voltage to spin the fan at some rate in any bright daylight condition. Total cost was under $20 buying the solar panel on close out, most of the cost was in dustproof fan.

p.s. the exhaust fan works better for removing heat from the area as the inlet fan is more prone to just recirculating air inside the enclosure.
2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L
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