Solar Powered Auto Fan only $19.99 (+ shipping)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by timtim2008, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. timtim2008

    timtim2008 Member

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    [​IMG]

    Solar Auto Fan only $19.99 (+ shipping)


    You can find this item on ebay, amazon, and other sites all over the internet and late nite infomercials..

    Do anyone here have one? is it worth it?

    :) does it beat the $1000 prius one? :)
     
  2. ThePriusMan.com

    ThePriusMan.com Waiting for my Prius

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  3. toyolover

    toyolover Member

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    No. Don't buy it. I bought it before to use it on my last BMW-X3. The tinted window blocks most of the solar energy to run the fan. Besides, you'd need to leave another window open about 1/2" so outside air can be suck in to replace the hot air being suck out. If it rains, you'd get the inside all wet.
    I don't recommend it.
     
  4. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Just crack open all four windows 1/2".
     
  5. ThePriusMan.com

    ThePriusMan.com Waiting for my Prius

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    Bingo, you save $20 bucks and don't look like a sucker :)

    Just kidding

    Russ
     
  6. tzh

    tzh Member

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    I will sell mine for $10 :D
     
  7. walterm

    walterm Active Member

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    I had one that I used on my 2007 Prius. It worked somewhat, although the window greatly reduced the effectiveness of the solar panel. I now have a 2010 with the solar roof, and it's much more effective. Also the window fan doesn't provide a cool sunroof! :):)
     
  8. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    I use to do that, and then one day we had a driving rain from a passing thunderstorm. I was in a meeting, and had no warning/chance to run out to shut my (partially cracked) windows. Besides the inconvenience of having a wet seat on my way home, all the water shorted out one of the window switches on the driver's side.

    Finally, cracking the window does nothing to move cooler air from the outside into the hot cabin in most cases. Generally, when it's stiffling hot, there is no air movement outside...so cracking the windows only provides minimal help, IMO.
     
  9. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

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    I have the vent shades on my windows -- I crack the windows about 1/2" and, even in a driving rain, the interior stayed dry.

    Even without air movement, it keeps the interior from becoming superheated. A fan is not going to lower the interior temperature below ambient.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    True, but ugly (IMO) and will also reduce the aerodynamics of the car's design.



    Minimal affect. Here's a study from the Pediatrics in Review:

    Heat Stress From Enclosed Vehicles: Moderate Ambient Temperatures Cause Significant Temperature Rise in Enclosed Vehicles -- McLaren et al. 116 (1): e109 -- Pediatrics

    Vehicles heat up rapidly, with the majority of the temperature rise occurring within the first 15 to 30 minutes. Leaving the windows opened slightly does not significantly slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature attained.


    It's thermodynamics 101. The interior of the car rapidly heats up from the sun's raiation (ie radiative heating). When you simply crack the windows a bit, some heat escapes via convection. But the system is NOT in equillibrium. That is, there is FAR more radiative heating of the interior, than there is cooling of the interior by the convection process. Ergo, the temperature of the interior of the car rises significantly - by as much as 50 degrees difference.

    But when you pull air in from the outside, you significantly augment (help) the convection process. In situations where the fans move enough outside air to make a diffference (such as the solar system on the Model IV of the Prius), the net result is the interior temperature remains close to whatever the outside temperature is.


    True, but so what? That's a good thing, IMO. Having your cars interior near the outside ambient temperature, of say, 95F...is far, far better than having the interior close to 130F (or even higher as reported in some studies). But maybe that's just me? :rolleyes:
     
  11. rlr66

    rlr66 Junior Member

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    I tried it. Before I got my Prius, on another car - my windows were not tinted. It didn't work at all. I returned it. Don't waste you money.
     
  12. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    Among other reasons why those types of aftermarket systems don't work very well - the volume of air they re-introduce into the cabin, from the outside, is small.

    From my earlier post -



    Heat Stress From Enclosed Vehicles: Moderate Ambient Temperatures Cause Significant Temperature Rise in Enclosed Vehicles -- McLaren et al. 116 (1): e109 -- Pediatrics

    Vehicles heat up rapidly, with the majority of the temperature rise occurring within the first 15 to 30 minutes. Leaving the windows opened slightly does not significantly slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature attained.


    It's thermodynamics 101. The interior of the car rapidly heats up from the sun's raiation (ie radiative heating). When you simply crack the windows a bit, some heat escapes via convection. But the system is NOT in equillibrium. That is, there is FAR more radiative heating of the interior, than there is cooling of the interior by the convection process. Ergo, the temperature of the interior of the car rises significantly - by as much as 50 degrees difference.

    But when you pull air in from the outside, you significantly augment (help) the convection process. In situations where the fans move enough outside air to make a diffference (such as the solar system on the Model IV of the Prius), the net result is the interior temperature remains close to whatever the outside temperature is.
     
  13. Lottamoxie

    Lottamoxie Member

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    It's a great concept but not worth more than $1K. And of course you can't get the solar roof without taking the NAV, though I realize many people do want both.
     
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    This product get's discovered almost cyclically on a lot of automotive websites. In general, I've never read a thread where it was presented as anything but a waste of money.

    Whether the OP was serious or not, it's probably not valid to try to compare a $20, plastic, made for TV, solar powered "fan" to the Prius Solar Paneled Roof ventilation system. While I think The Prius system an underwhelming use of a solar panel, I've got to believe it's a better tool than anything marked "As Seen On TV".
     
  15. Paul58

    Paul58 Mileage Miser

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    I don't have the Solar Roof option, and have a white car, I'm curious if it gets hotter in one with the Solar Roof being as the sun is baking that black panel on the roof. I know the difference in the interior temp of a White v. Black car can exceed 20 degrees! I have to wonder if the little fan actually keeps the interior that much cooler than just having the white, fully insulated roof overhead reflecting away the suns rays...
     
  16. Lottamoxie

    Lottamoxie Member

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    I'd rather have an autostart feature, where I can turn on the car and blast the AC for a minute or two before getting in the car. Even if one accounts for the extra energy it takes to do that, I bet it still comes out to far less than $1,800 extra over 10 yrs.
     
  17. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    Absolutely it does. The solar roof is not thermally connected to the rest of the car.

    What little fan are you referring to? The solar system uses the same Prius fan used for AC/heat. That fan is very powerful and will keep the interior of the car near ambient (outside) temperatures. Tests have been done to show this. This is not speculation, and it's not a gimick. It may not be important to you, or other consumers (like having a sun roof), but it does what it is suppose to do - keep the cabin temperature close to the outside ambient temperature.

    White will help on the amount of radiative heating, but without air from the outside coming into the car, the interior temperature will rise until some equilibrium is reached. It may take longer for white cars to reach their steady-state temperature, but the inside of even white cars is still going to be significantly higher than the outside ambient temperature.
     
  18. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    That's all in the eyes of the consumer.

    I mainly wanted the sun rooof, which just so happens to be packaged in with the solar system. For me, anyway, I use my sunroof every day. The solar system is relevent - to me - on hot, sunny days.
     
  19. Paul58

    Paul58 Mileage Miser

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    See, there I go believeing uninformd salesman dribble again! I was told it was a small fan that was separate from the main heating/cooling fan because the solar panel did not produce enough power to drive the heating/cooling fan.

    Of course I was also told my III did not have SKS and I had to use the key fob to lock/unlock the doors (I actually do for all but the driver's door, but was lead to believe I needed to use the fob for just the driver's door as well).

    So. how does this fan exhaust the hot air from the vehicle? Does it just use the existing vents, or is the set up of a Prius with the Solar roof different than one without. What I'm getting at is there a way to install a solar panel that could drive the heating/cooling fan? RV Supply Stores like Camping World sell Solar Panels designed to provide a trickle charge to the coach batteries, they aren't too large and could be set in the trunk under that huge window and supply power for the fan, install a thermal switch so it turns on a 90 degrees, and you're in business...
     
  20. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    Yep, it uses the same fan and vents that are already on the prius. Nothing additional in that regard - which would make the most sense, since adding a separate system of fans and vents would add additional cost and weight to the car.

    The solar pannel on the roof of the Prius generates about 50 watts, which is more than enough power to drive a fan. In fact, commercial solar powered attic fans (drawing the hot air out of the attic) have been around for years, and they consume between 15-30 watts.
     
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