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Old 11-10-2012, 21:08   #1
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Nicro solar vent, should they run all night?

I've got an older 3" Nicro Solar Vent that pulls air from my composting head. It looks like this one:

NICRO VENTILTION SYSTEMS | VENT 3" DAY AND NIGHT SOLAR VENT, Stainless (d/c) | N20503S from the ShipStore.com on-line catalog.

The lens over the panel is clean and fairly clear and I've installed a fresh Energizer C size battery. The vent runs well all day and late into the night but isn't running when I check it in the wee hours of the morning. If I install a freshly charged battery in the evening it will run all night so it appears that the little panel isn't charging the battery well enough and/or the older motor could be growing less efficient?

What is your experience with the Nicro solar vents? Should I buy a replacement or can this be made to run all night?

I'm tempted to add a computer-type fan that runs off of the house system (and larger solar panels) instead of replacing the Nicro. Another thought was to wire the nicro motor into the house system (dropping the ~12V to ~1.5V should do it, right?) and suggestions on the electrical components needed to drop the voltage efficiently would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jonathan
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:19   #2
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Re: Nicro solar vent, should they run all night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanSail View Post
I've got an older 3" Nicro Solar Vent that pulls air from my composting head. It looks like this one:

NICRO VENTILTION SYSTEMS | VENT 3" DAY AND NIGHT SOLAR VENT, Stainless (d/c) | N20503S from the ShipStore.com on-line catalog.

The lens over the panel is clean and fairly clear and I've installed a fresh Energizer C size battery. The vent runs well all day and late into the night but isn't running when I check it in the wee hours of the morning. If I install a freshly charged battery in the evening it will run all night so it appears that the little panel isn't charging the battery well enough and/or the older motor could be growing less efficient?

What is your experience with the Nicro solar vents? Should I buy a replacement or can this be made to run all night?

I'm tempted to add a computer-type fan that runs off of the house system (and larger solar panels) instead of replacing the Nicro. Another thought was to wire the nicro motor into the house system (dropping the ~12V to ~1.5V should do it, right?) and suggestions on the electrical components needed to drop the voltage efficiently would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jonathan
Jonathan I have three of those vents on my boat and they run all day and night. I have changed the battery in two of them though.
If memory sserves me correctly the energizer is not a rechargable range of batteries. I got mine from Jcar and have had no problems. Cheers.
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:27   #3
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Re: Nicro solar vent, should they run all night?

Thanks for the reply Bob. I'm glad to know that they should run all night. I'll tinker with this one a bit more and then may get another since it should do what I want.

By the way, Energizer does make rechargeable batteries and I've had good luck with them. The one that I have in the Nicro is a 2500 mAh, Nickel Metal Hydride, rechargeable battery.

Jonathan
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:31   #4
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Re: Nicro solar vent, should they run all night?

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Originally Posted by JonathanSail View Post
Thanks for the reply Bob. I'm glad to know that they should run all night. I'll tinker with this one a bit more and then may get another since it should do what I want.

By the way, Energizer does make rechargeable batteries and I've had good luck with them. The one that I have in the Nicro is a 2500 mAh, Nickel Metal Hydride, rechargeable battery.

Jonathan
Thanks for the update on energizer. The batteries I got from Jcar are a higher capacity but all the fans run all day and night.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:56   #5
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Re: Nicro solar vent, should they run all night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanSail View Post
Thanks for the reply Bob. I'm glad to know that they should run all night. I'll tinker with this one a bit more and then may get another since it should do what I want.

By the way, Energizer does make rechargeable batteries and I've had good luck with them. The one that I have in the Nicro is a 2500 mAh, Nickel Metal Hydride, rechargeable battery.

Jonathan
Jonathan--

The original Nico solar panels do not generate sufficient amps to adaquately recharge NiMH batteries. Try replacing your battery with a fully charge NiCad. Under normal curcumstances, the fan will run for roughly 40 hours on a 2500 mAH battery although it will take 3-4 days of good sun to replenish the battery afterward. Note too that if your new battery does not does not last well, you motor may be worn and pulling more amps than spec. One can actually disassemble the vent and subsequently the motor (gently) and clean and refurb it but it will take less effort to replace the motor. BTDT...

svHyLyte
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:52   #6
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Re: Nicro solar vent, should they run all night?

Thanks HyLyte,

I'll try out a NiCad as soon as I can find one and hopefully that will get it going all night again.

Jonathan
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