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Old 05-12-2018, 16:41   #1
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Solar powered vents - Nicro

I have had two of these. The first failed and the solar panel was cloudy. The second just failed and the panel was clear.
Has anyone had success with these lasting more than a couple years? At more than $100 a pop, this is not an incidental expense.
Any experience with a brand that seems to hold up or is that small panel just destined to fail?
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Old 05-12-2018, 17:37   #2
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

Hi there, I had a problem with mine too. It worked fine at first then noticed the fan would gradually get slower and slower then finally it quit. In my case the rechargeable battery was at fault, this happened after 1 season. So I bought a new battery and it has been working well for the last 6 years, have also noticed the solar part is a bit cloudy looking, but it still charges the battery enough to keep the fan going through the night.
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Old 05-12-2018, 18:21   #3
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

I have two that don't work. I tried a new battery and that didn't fix them. The solar seems to work but the fan motor doesn't spin. The directions or troubleshooting say it won't work on solar if the battery is dead so if it doesn't work in sunshine don't assume it has to be the fan motor is bad. I'm going to take the fan motor out and measure it to see if I can find replacements. Nicro doesn't sell them.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:37   #4
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

I bought a solar fan for a boat I am building but at the time I was deeply suspicious that it would have a short life running (say) 12 hours per day.

I bought a very small motor which appears similar to the one in the fan which I intend using as a replacement when the original goes belly-up.

There's quite a few tiny motors on eBay for around $US5.00


https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-x-DC-1...t8e1:rk:1:pf:0


https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_...LH_TitleDesc=0


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Old 06-12-2018, 05:00   #5
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

I do like their design, so, bought two for my boat about five years ago. Mainly to keep air circulating when not on board. Nice little work horses they are. Have been working fine since I installed them.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:06   #6
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
I bought a solar fan for a boat I am building but at the time I was deeply suspicious that it would have a short life running (say) 12 hours per day.

I bought a very small motor which appears similar to the one in the fan which I intend using as a replacement when the original goes belly-up.

There's quite a few tiny motors on eBay for around $US5.00


https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-x-DC-1...t8e1:rk:1:pf:0


https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_...LH_TitleDesc=0


Clive
Thanks! That's what I was looking for.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:28   #7
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

I use the small computer fans. Around $5.00 US and last ? Of the 6 I have mounted through out the boat 2 years ago, all are still working. They are all reclaimed, so I don't how old they are. They draw about 1/4 amp each. Some are louder than others, some move more air.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:08   #8
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

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Originally Posted by PEACETIME View Post
I use the small computer fans. Around $5.00 US and last ? Of the 6 I have mounted through out the boat 2 years ago, all are still working. They are all reclaimed, so I don't how old they are. They draw about 1/4 amp each. Some are louder than others, some move more air.
They work on 12 V?
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:09   #9
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

Had an old one on our trailer sailor, it ran fine but was very noisy and couldn't be closed. Replaced it with brand new one (that has closing feature), which failed in a year. Replaced the motor on that and it failed within a year (replaced with official replacement motor, not another brand, should have searched eBay instead).


Put one in our other boat in the head, it's battery never held a charge well (I think they're still old NiCad or some crappy battery), so it only runs when in direct sunlight.


In future I would not buy another of these, they just fail too often. I plan on buying regular mushroom vents (that are closable) and then rig with a computer fan or something like that that runs off the house batteries, then it will be silent and will run all the time.


It's too bad, the idea is great, the vent itself seems nice, but the panel, battery and motor are all poorly sourced parts IMO.



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Old 06-12-2018, 09:11   #10
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

First one lasted about five years so I replaced it with another which is still humming along nicely after two years. Only problem was that the through-deck hole for the replacement was larger than the hole for the first one despite the dimensions on the box being identical. Nicro didn't respond to my request for an explanation. Otherwise quite happy but it does pay to give the solar panel an occasional wipe.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:28   #11
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

Years ago these were good and lasted for years then they changed the design or supplier. They used too easily last 10 years with just changing the battery every year. The ones currently usually fail within a year. Unless you can find some old stock do not buy them.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:40   #12
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

I have two of these which I have replaced twice in the last 12 years, need replacing again. I won't buy these again. Will modify them to use 12 volt computer fans run off the house batteries.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:50   #13
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

There was another thread (which I can't find right now) that talked about this. A few people mentioned that there is a replacement battery they purchased from Amazon that solved the problem and provided pretty decent longevity. I don't remember the model but perhaps someone else does. I'll try to find the thread when I have some additional time.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:06   #14
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

I have 2 of these vents....now sold by Marinco. I bought both of them from West Marine with the extended warranty which costs $20 for a 5 year warranty. The vents fail every 2 years, so I have a revolving replacement program with West Marine. It has worked well for over 10 years.

Sailors always figure out how to solve their problems efficiently.

Please do not tell on me...
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:19   #15
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Re: Solar powered vents - Nicro

i had one on my hatch when i purchased the boat and it was dead, so i replaced by the cheap chinese version https://www.aliexpress.com/item/port...c-04b047a27ac1 (Not publicity and i have no connection to them at all). It worked all summer but at the end of the season the solar panel became milky and it stopped working.

I purchased two of them and i will swap the bad one next season . And when the second one break i will replace by simple vent with out fan

At the price Nicro sell them , it doesnt make sense and by the review i have read online they are very bad quality .
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