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Old 09-10-11, 09:43 AM   #131
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Here is quick update on how the system is working. Lately, I've been coming home to a kitchen that is around 66F. Yesterday after a pretty sunny day it was 74F which was even warmer than my sunroom (72F).

Also, this morning has been very sunny since the sun came up. The fan kicked in at 9:30 am. If the day continues like they have been it'll be on until 9-10 pm.

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Old 10-03-11, 11:05 AM   #132
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This weekend I went to see my in-laws. I originally got the fans for this project from my father-in-law who had ripped them out of someones house (hes an electrician). I asked if he had any more of them and I got three more fans he had pulled out of places. I'm contemplating adding an additional fan or two to the setup since I think there is more heat up there to harvest.
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Old 10-04-11, 09:50 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
This weekend I went to see my in-laws. I originally got the fans for this project from my father-in-law who had ripped them out of someones house (hes an electrician). I asked if he had any more of them and I got three more fans he had pulled out of places. I'm contemplating adding an additional fan or two to the setup since I think there is more heat up there to harvest.
Maybe you could stage them coming on based on attic temperature ????
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Old 10-04-11, 10:50 AM   #134
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I probably won't bother doing that. If there is heat up there I want it in my house asap, so full blast is good. I don't have any problems with cycling on and off due to the way the controller is programmed (the hysterisis is a few degrees).

I am thinking about cutting another hole in the chimney though. As it is, its already blowing out of that hole pretty quickly. Also, as I mentioned before, having a way to disperse the heat around the house better would be a great thing. So, another hole on the other side of the chimney might be the way to go.

We'll see though. The system is working great as is right now. There is room for improvement for sure, but I'm happy with it for now.
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Old 10-04-11, 11:58 AM   #135
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Hi Tim,
Sometime back up this thread we talked about the possibility of blocking some or all of the attic ventilation in order to make it a more efficient heat collector. This would probably require adding some form of forced ventilation that comes on only when the attic humidity goes above a certain level to avoid moisture problems.
I was walking through Costco yesterday and noticed that they had a solar driven attic fan with a fancy controller. One of the features of the controller was that it can automatically turn itself on when the attic humidity goes above a certain level. In addition to being powered by solar, this fan also plugs in to 120VAC, so it can provide the needed ventilation even if there is no sun.

Just thought I would pass this on.
Thinking seriously about trying it in my attic.
Wondering if I just provided a way to shut off the upper vents (only a few of these), if I could just leave the soffit vents open and still stop most of the attic vent flow?

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Old 10-04-11, 12:12 PM   #136
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Interesting find with the solar fan. That would be a nice setup.

I have also been thinking of adding the same setup to my garage. It only has soffit vents (no other vents at all). And, while my garage has no insulation (just construction plastic on the ceiling to keep some heat in if I turn on my kerosene heater in winter), it can still get a lot warmer than the outside if its sunny out. I think this is largely due to not having enough venting. So, I'm quite tempted to make another controller and throw a fan or two up there. Maybe I'll throw a temperature sensor up there to keep an eye on the temps.
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Old 10-28-11, 04:10 PM   #137
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Just thought I'd give an update. I started using the fan around the 1st of September (or wanted to, it needed fixing). I don't think its turned on for a few days now. I've noticed on sunny days the attic temperatures are in the mid 60s which is barely not enough to kick the fan on. I think the cold nights down in the 30s just make it take too much time to warm up. That and the breezy days we've been having really stop the attic from warming up.

So, it looks like it was useful for almost 2 months this fall. If the same follows for spring that'll make this dodad useful for 4/12 months of the year. Not too shabby for an almost free project.
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Old 11-02-11, 08:24 AM   #138
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Well, looks like I was wrong, the fan fired up yesterday. It was warmer out and that was enough to get the attic temps up apparently.
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Old 11-02-11, 01:26 PM   #139
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Are you still doing data logging on the fans? If you notice that the fans are coming on earlier in the day when the temps are higher but shuts off several times, or if later in the day when the heat is more needed and it is now to cool to turn on the fans you might want to think about adding a timer. By adding a timer you can prevent the fans from turning on as soon as the temp is past the set point allowing it to gain more heat.

Also it looks like there is a decent size gap between the fan shroud and fan blades it might help to make the gap a little smaller so the fan it not pulling some of the air that has moved past the fan back through the fan.

One more note from looking at one of the older posts you mentioned about wanting to run this in reverse in the summer but thought that you would have to use vent tubing to do so. I thought of a very easy way to do it add a hole with a grommet large enough to run the power wires through the board, flip the board over it now is in reverse.
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Old 11-02-11, 01:40 PM   #140
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I am not datalogging unfortunately. I would have liked to, but it works pretty good as is. I'm pretty sure its not turning on and off during the day because the hysterisis between on and off is relatively large. (about 3 degrees).

I would like to be able to run it in reverse, but thats a project for another time. I'd also like to add better dampers to the system as well.

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