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Solar fan vent questions

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by bredekamp, Sep 26, 2007.

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  1. bredekamp

    bredekamp New Member

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    Hi all,

    It's getting hot here now and I was thinking about buying one of those solar powered venting fans you clip onto the window. I have some questions though?

    Do they work?
    Do they fit the Prius?
    Can they damage the electric window by jamming it or causing it to keep the winder motor running?
    Must I remove it every time I get in?

    Thanks for your input. Pictures would be nice. What models do you recommend?

    EDIT---------

    I did some sniffing around and the consensus seems to be that they either don't work, or hardly cools the car at all.

    http://www.infomercialscams.com/scams/auto_cool
  2. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy Class Clown

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    Don't waste your money. The solar cells aren't large enough to generate much electricty. Consequently the fan will not move much air. It is far more effective just to roll down the windows a couple of centimeters.

    Keith :unsure:
  3. bredekamp

    bredekamp New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tech_Guy @ Sep 26 2007, 10:53 PM) [snapback]518119[/snapback]</div>

    I suspected that...thanks. Can keeping my windows open a crack make my cars' alarm go off?
  4. Cheap!

    Cheap! New Member

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    Depending on the window UV rating...put a solar paned in your rear window and power the OEM Fan all day while your out. You'll come back to a cooler car. Testing still needs to be done to make sure you won't actualy heat up your OEM battery, but we would be able to tell that with just a few trials.

    Any one got a small 12 volt pannel laying around? If I did, I would try it out for you.
  5. bredekamp

    bredekamp New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Cheap! @ Sep 26 2007, 11:00 PM) [snapback]518124[/snapback]</div>

    You know, it would be great if one could power the cars own internal venting system. I have owned BMWs with such a venting feature built in. It works well too.
  6. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Albertus @ Sep 26 2007, 01:46 PM) [snapback]518114[/snapback]</div>

    I hate to admit that I actually bought one of these. It would work IF it came with a special platform that would rotate the Prius during the day so that the solar cell was pointing directly at the sun. Because the fan will only turn when the solar cell is pointed at the sun within about 1/2° (ok, I didn't actually measure, but it can't be off by very much in any event).

    Don't waste your time or money.
  7. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dogfriend @ Sep 27 2007, 04:37 PM) [snapback]518360[/snapback]</div>

    What about one in each side then? That would allow reverse cross ventilation. :)
  8. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(patsparks @ Sep 27 2007, 12:22 AM) [snapback]518362[/snapback]</div>

    No, what I was trying to say is that the fan doesn't work at all unless the solar panel is pointed directly at the sun. Angled directly at it. You would need a device to point your car window (and the rest of the car) directly at the sun, perpendicular to the rays of the sun to get it to work. It would need to continuously track the sun and keep the solar panel pointed at the sun for the fan to keep turning. But it didn't include such a device in the box.

    If you used one on each side, then you would have wasted twice as much money. ;)
  9. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    it doesn't have to be directly.... while directly facing the sun is always the most efficient, electricity can be generated when the sunlight is at an angle.
  10. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bob64 @ Sep 27 2007, 03:20 PM) [snapback]518709[/snapback]</div>


    That's what a normal person would think, but seriously, I bought one of the "Auto Cool, As Seen On TV" units on sale at my local Walgreens drug store. The fan would only turn if I pointed it directly at the sun. I don't know whether it might be defective, but I do know that it doesn't work.

    I was really amazed that it was such a POS.

    I packed it back up in the box to take it back, but I still have it because I can't find the time to take it back.
  11. Rangerdavid

    Rangerdavid Active Member

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    My wife bought/ordered several of these last summer. The fans actually do work. At least they do what they are designed to do, the fan turns when the sun is hitting the solar panel.

    Problem is..... that the fan is not big enough to actually remove hot air from the car. Installing the little sheilds over the windows would work better and keep the rain out. Don't buy the fans. Not worth it at all.
  12. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    The problem isn't that it has to be pointed directly at the sun.

    It is that the little solar powered fan isn't powerful enough to move enough air to make any difference.

    Bottom line; save your money. It doesn't work as advertised.
  13. rob33ford

    rob33ford New Member

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    trust me - these are worthless, but you can buy mine if you want.
  14. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(rob33ford @ Sep 27 2007, 05:41 PM) [snapback]518764[/snapback]</div>

    Mine too, $5 plus shipping. Its hardly been used. Comes with a bonus cupholder cell phone organizer thingy. Once you buy it, you can test to see if you can get it to work when it isn't pointed

    directly at the sun
    ;)
  15. Prius 07

    Prius 07 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dogfriend @ Sep 28 2007, 12:44 AM) [snapback]518865[/snapback]</div>

    ... directly pointed at the sun??? ... HMMM ... that should be simple ... just have to turn the car onto it's side ;)
  16. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    Here's what you do: Buy the thing, and then buy one of those expensive stepper-motors that they use on telescopes to track the sky. Mount that on top of the car and either always park your car in exactly the same angle, relative to the ecliptic plane, or get out your compass and manually adjust the angle before starting the tracking motor.

    If it's complex and extremely expensive then it mush be better!
  17. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Prius 07 @ Oct 12 2007, 10:44 AM) [snapback]524711[/snapback]</div>

    That's what I'm saying - they need to provide a platform that you drive your car onto, then the platform will rotate so that the solar panel is pointed at the sun and tracks it throughout the day. Cause that's the only way I can see this thing working.
  18. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dogfriend @ Oct 12 2007, 02:21 PM) [snapback]524727[/snapback]</div>

    Then you didn't read my reply. My solution would be much more cost-effective :)
  19. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ichabod @ Oct 12 2007, 11:34 AM) [snapback]524732[/snapback]</div>

    I didn't see your post until after I replied to Prius 07.

    The "Auto Cool - As Seen On TV" thing has the solar panel built into the housing that also holds the fan. So you would need to separate the solar panel from the housing so you could mount it on the roof with the stepper motor. But yeah, maybe that would solve the problem of the fan not turning. B)
  20. lenjack

    lenjack Member

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    There were some tests done in the last year or 2 that actually showed an INCREASE in temp.
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