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Old 11-03-2012, 09:53   #16
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Re: Airhead Solar Vent Straight to Battery ?

Thought I'd throw in my pennys worth...

I've purchased three Nico solar vents in the last 5 years. All of them needed batteries replaced within 18 (eighteen) months.

I think the idea is GREAT the closing vent, bug screens and green water traps work well - but the cheap rechargeable batts they use in them aren't worth '*RAP'. Replacing the battery isn't easy but it's cheaper than throwing the thing out. FYI - non of the replacement batteries have died, so there is a reward for doing the work! The issue is that you are NOT getting what they advertise and while you can certainly get along without the motor spinning it's not what you paid for.

The vents only have ONE battery (1.45VDC) so wiring to 12VDC won't work for very long (but would be entertaining)...
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Old 11-03-2012, 19:08   #17
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Thanks for that. So what would be a good replacement battery? I have the replacement vent on its way so I might just replace it straight away before putting it in. I take it that the fan doesn't need to spin very fast? I did hook up a 1.5v aa battery just to see how that went but it seemed pretty slow, but quiet I also have about 2.5 - 3 meters of vent hose for it to pull through also.
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Old 11-03-2012, 19:39   #18
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Re: Airhead Solar Vent Straight to Battery ?

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Thanks for that. So what would be a good replacement battery? I have the replacement vent on its way so I might just replace it straight away before putting it in. I take it that the fan doesn't need to spin very fast? I did hook up a 1.5v aa battery just to see how that went but it seemed pretty slow, but quiet I also have about 2.5 - 3 meters of vent hose for it to pull through also.

agree!! tell us what you used. My originals had Ni-Cads. The solar cell failed on one and the batteries in both. Are they using Lith now? I'd also thought of adding a local flexible stick-down solar panel to augment the built -in cell.
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Old 11-03-2012, 20:07   #19
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Li or li-po batteries are good long term batteries that do not develop "memories". You might check a source like Batteries-r-us for a replacement for your application. ⛵
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Old 11-03-2012, 20:57   #20
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Would a better idea be to hook it up to my house bank and stick a voltage regulator on it and turn it back to 1.5 volts? If that's possible?
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:54   #21
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That is possible. It can be cheaply done if you build your own. But then, how much power will your voltage regulator consume vice battery pack. If that's not an issue, then do what best works for you.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:16   #22
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Re: Airhead Solar Vent Straight to Battery ?

I bought them in paks of two from Radio Shack. FYI running over 1.5 vdc will make it run faster but faster means more noise. I guess it's about your use. I leave the boat alone sometimes for months. My use is to keep it ventilated. Using the fan as a bathroom vent or to remove cooking from the cabin I think would benefit from a higher speed - but I have a couple muffin fans (which work fine on 12v) on switches for that and they don't make anywhere near the noise running the nico on even 3vdc does. The motor is NOT brushless so it does make more noise than a muffin in all cases (not counting the noise of the air movin of course.)
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Old 12-03-2012, 19:13   #23
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So what is the main point of the fan? Is it mainly to create a negative pressure to stop odor or is it to create an airflow to aid in the composting? If I can get away with 1.5 volts that would be great. No noise but it does need to draw it over about a 3 meter distance
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Old 12-03-2012, 19:27   #24
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Re: Airhead Solar Vent Straight to Battery ?

Mattyb,
The purpose of the fan is both to provide negative pressure to remove odors and to move air into the compost bin to remove moisture.
I don't understand your concern about the load of the muffin fan for this purpose. IMO you are over-engineering this function. The standard fan provided by Airhead (and Radio Shack) is not a significant load on your batteries. Any 120AH battery bank should be able to support this load for weeks without requiring a re-charge.
My recommendation, get rid of the solar vents and use the muffin fan. Or just use the solar vent as a passive vent (no batteries).

John
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Old 12-03-2012, 19:46   #25
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Thanks John. I did not receive the muffin fan with the airhead. My main concern is the battery failing with the new replacement solar vent so my over engineering is probably me just being pedantic. If the battery was to fail and it would still be ok as a passive vent then I aren't too worried. Just dont want to get back to the boat one day with a stench. I am new to all this so I guess just being precautious
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Old 12-03-2012, 22:11   #26
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Re: Airhead Solar Vent Straight to Battery ?

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That is possible. It can be cheaply done if you build your own. But then, how much power will your voltage regulator consume vice battery pack. If that's not an issue, then do what best works for you.
Murata Power Solutions | DC/DC Converters, AC/DC Power Supplies, Digital Panel Meters, Magnetics

If you want a DC-DC converter sith low power loss you might look here. They have a lot of tiny power supplies.
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