This past weekend my wife and I went to Fredericksburg Texas to hang out and while we were there we attended the Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair. This was the first “Green” fair I had ever been to and thought that it was pretty cool. There where a lot of exhibitors and clubs there promoting their green technologies.
While there I priced out solar attic fans and the cheapest one I could find was around $250. The $250 kit came with the fan, solar panel, and everything that you needed in order to install it. The thing that I liked about this kit was that it did not utilize a battery, it just worked directly off the energy that it was collecting from the sun. The thing that I didn’t like about it was the price.
For a house my size it is recommended that I have 2 fans in order to be effective and that would come out to around $500. It would take 3 or more years to recoup the cost savings the fans would provide. That doesn’t really make it worth it. Due to this price point I am now investigating on how to make my own.
At first I though that I would need to get some sort of motor and build or buy my own fan blades. I wasn’t sure were I would get these but while working in the garage this past weekend I came up with an idea. It was a little warm so I went over to my $10 Walmart box fan to turn it on and the light bulb went on. If some how I could get a solar panel hooked up to this guy I very well could have a pretty cheap DIY solar attic fan.
To power the fan I am looking into solar panels that are currently available at Harbor Freight. They have some low-cost panels that might do the job.
I know that it is going to take some work to get the right motor and solar panels lined up so that I actually can make the motor spin but the weather is starting to get cooler so I have the winter to experiment with it.