Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Journeyman has two solar powered vents, one over the head and one on the "aft deck".

The aft vent, pictured above, replaced a passive (unpowered) vent. Because the vent is just aft of the cockpit coaming it is out of clear air and the unpowered vent was ineffective. This Nicro solar powered vent is effective at exhausting air from the engine compartment. The solar panel drives a motor with a fan attached. By switching fans, the vent can draw air in or be set to exhaust.

Would this vent be sufficient to ventilate the compartment of a gasoline engine, where a good sparkproof powerful exhaust fan is needed? I think I'd want to go with 12 volts in that critical installation.

The aft vent represents an improvement over the original solar vent, in that the solar panel not only powers the fan, it charges a Ni-Cad battery, allowing the fan to operate when the sun goes down. The theory is that evening air is cooler and hence drier, so pulling evening air into the boat produces a drier boat. I guess.

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