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101 renewable - solar powered attic fans

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Last Updated
7th of January, 2020

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The pros of using solar-powered attic fans:~


The roof’s attic is any house buffer towards environmental hardship. It protects and at the same time keeps existing house temperatures at a comfort level.

During the sunrise and the sundown, the roof is under continue thermal stress being beamed with 215Btus/sqft/hour Btu/sqft/hour This is considerable thermal energy enough to bring temperature under shingles at 160F during the hot summer days up to $350.00 during a year time period using solar-powered attic fans. The savings are electricity bill cumulated savings from the HVAC system.

It is very wise to follow a set of dimensional rules when we decide what type of solar fan we want to install. In this way, we will make sure the desired efficiency is achieved and the money spent is justified. A too-small solar attic fan will do very little to lower the temperature. A too big one will be a heating drag for the wintertime or during the cold days when we want that our attic fan is still extracting humidity.

Watts Cooled Area SQ Feet CFMS Output
10 WATT up to 1200 sq feet 850 cfms
15 WATT up to 1600 sq feet 1050 cfms
20 WATT up to 1800 sq feet 1250 cfms
25 WATT up to 2100 sq feet 1500 cfms
30 WATT up to 2500 sq feet 1550 cfms
40 WATT up to 2900 sq feet 1800 cfms
50 WATT up to 3100 sq feet 1900 cfms
60 WATT up to 3300 sq feet 2050 cfms


How to choose a solar attic fan:~

When we select a solar attic fan either as a standard flash type of fan or a curb mounted fan or a vent gable fan we must obey few basic rules:

Mechanical rules:~

Mechanical specific we look for a fan with a low noise level. Generally, the more blades a fan has the quieter it will be (five blades are better than four). Each blade does less work and creates a smoother and even sound, as opposed to fewer blades where the sound is choppy and irritating. Running on low speed also creates less wear and tear on the fan and needs less electricity - less consumption it means is working better on cloudy days or days with a low level of isolation.

We give close attention to the type of materials a fan is made of. It is important to have a fan-made of marine grade type of materials to assure a lasting presence on our roofs. That will protect against UV and high-temperature impact on the fan's components. More manufacturers of solar attic fans are offering aircraft-grade aluminum hood used for fan housing. In this way, we lower the weight tearing of the roof and improve the resistance to direct mechanical impact.


Installation rules:~

>_ We use a curb style base for flat or low slope roofs. Any roof 2 ½ -12 pitch or less, should be treated as a flat

>_ We mount the solar attic fan light pitched to the shingle roof. That is for fans mounted on the north side of the roof in a set up with a remote panel mounted on the south or west side of the roof.

>_ We mount the solar attic fan tall pitched for areas having a lot of snow.

>_ The attic fan has to be installed 2 feet away from the roof’s ridge.

>_ The attic fan has to be mounted between roof trusses.

>_ The attic fan has to be positioned in the center of the roof, where the most amount of heat accumulates

>_ The roof has to be provided with a lot of natural vents in order to ensure the right ventilation.

>_ The solar panel for a remote powered attic fan has to be placed away from shades and away from chemises.

Steps to install a curb mounted solar attic fan:-

Step 1:-

Assemble a "curb" with the outside dimensions of 21 .75” x 21 .75” (see Figure 1). Use pressure-treated lumber secured at all four corners with wood screws or galvanized nails (use 2” x  6” or larger lumber - adhere to local building codes).

Step 2:-

Locate an area that is between the trusses to install the solar attic fan (southern exposure is recommended). Mount the curb to the deck centering the curb over the space between the trusses.

Step 3:-

Using a reciprocating saw, cut out the opening. DO NOT CUT STRUCTURAL FRAMING

Step 4:-

Place the "curb" over opening and toe-nail into existing roofing using galvanized nails. If necessary build blockings to ensure the curb is secure. Wrap the "curb" with roofing material to prevent leaking.

Step 5:-

Attached the solar attic fan to the "curb" using 4 screws provided through the pre-drilled holes on the solar attic fan curb lip (see Figure 3).

Step 6:-

Adjust the angle of the solar panel to a position where it will gather the most amount of sunlight (panel facing due south is recommended). To adjust, remove the center screw on the solar panel bracket and swinging arm up to the desired position. (see Figure 4).


About the author of this article:
View Michael Comsa's profile on LinkedIn

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