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Thread: Ceiling fan in cabin

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Default Ceiling fan in cabin

    I've been looking into ceiling fans with the intent of installing one in my yet-to-built 16x28 cabin with loft. The ones with a DC motor have pretty spectacular efficiency, allegedly moving around 2,000 cfm on lowest settings using only a handful of AC watts. Does anyone have any firsthand experience with a ceiling fan in an off-grid installation?

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    Member LindenTree's Avatar
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    I am all wired in for a 12 V but have not installed it yet, but I think a ceiling fan is a must if you have the battery storage to power it. It would save on my heat bill since it is 10+ degrees warmer in my loft than on the main floor.
    I was originally planning on having a 12 V ceiling fan, so I installed the appropriate wire 10 gage I think was what was needed, but I am not an authority.
    After I wired everything into my cabin, I decided to only go with 110 volt power and inverter, so I can't answer your question. But I will be following this thread to see the responses.

    Good Luck
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

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    Member LindenTree's Avatar
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    Chugiak, I tried to respond/edit my post but I waited to long, so here is a little more clarification but also a little redundancy.

    I am all wired in for a 12 V but have not installed it yet, but I think a ceiling fan is a must if you have the battery storage to power it. It would save on my heat bill since it is 10+ degrees warmer in my loft than on the main floor.
    I was originally planning on having a 12 V ceiling fan, so I installed the appropriate wire 10 gage, I think was what was needed, but I am not an authority.
    After I wired everything into my cabin, I decided to only go with 110 volt power and inverter, (No 12 V) so I can't answer your question. But I will be following this thread to see the responses.
    I use 4/four, T-105, 6 volt, golf cart battery's wired in series and parallel to get 12 volts. I run LED Lights, radio, Flat Screen TV.
    I charge my battery's about 1 - 2 hours/week with my Honda generator and Schumacher 30 Amp charger. I have one 275 watt solar panel with a smart (Midnite Solar) charge controller. I have gas heat, stove and refrigerator. My cabin is 16 x 24, and lived in it full time in MN, now I only spend winters in MN, otherwise it is in my other off grid cabin near Sterling AK.

    I would guess that if I was going to run a ceiling fan, I would will need at least 6, T-105 battery's, and my back up generator would need to be run 4 - 6 hours a week to charge my battery's in low light/cloudy conditions in AK winters. (Total Speculation). But still not bad considering what some run their generators.

    PS, I'm single so that helps keep the power use low.

    Do you plan on this being a cabin or year around residence?

    Good Luck
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

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    I installed two 12 volt fans. Use them often.
    Mine are remote controlled. If you do the same make certain you install a hard switch to shut power to the ir sensor off or it will use power looking for a signal

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I should be more clear in my post. The cabin will be for year round recreation but occupancy will probably be 30-60 days a year. I am planning on a 12v system fed by solar and generator.

    I envision wiring mostly for AC with a few DC outlets. AC will have inverter circuit for lights, fan, and water pump. Will also wire in a circuit from generator. The fans I am considering are run off AC but use a DC motor.

    Here's an example, albeit pricey.
    http://www.amazon.com/Kichler-Lighti.../dp/B004NXPUFU
    At lowest setting it only burns 4 watts. Running it all day would be 48 watt-hours. Ignoring inverter loss, that's 2 amp-hours on the 12v system.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Oops, that is 4 amp-hours. Derp!

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    On the off grid forums I'm on this DC fan is universally regarded to be the best for running off grid.
    It draws 6 watts when running off 12 volts DC 60 RPM @ 2500 CFM
    On 24 volts DC it draws 18 watts 120 RPM @ 3400 CFM
    You can get speed controllers as well.

    FYI, the fan I'm talking about is the Vari-Cyclone (the first one on the page either 3 or 4 blade)

    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/ceilingfans.htm

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks Drifter, that's awesome info.

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    I would really consider just wiring your cabin 120V. Easier, cheaper and simplier. Get you a 24V battery bank, inverter, solar panels and a generator to charge and for back up. Especially if you have a family. I have had no issues going on 15 years except one leaky battery. Also I run a ceiling fan that stays on all weekend while we are there. I run 4 big batteries and 3 big solar panels and I don't run the generator all summer and only a few hours before we leave in the winter to make sure batteries are fully charged up. The freezing will not effect your batteries as long as they have a full charge on them.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    That's pretty much my plan TBS. I am not averse however to running something off of DC and bypassing the inverter. Wiring for DC seems like much more of a hassle but you don't incur the losses that an inverter has. For lights, I'm planning on having bog standard household fixtures running off the inverter-driven AC with LED bulbs. DC fan or AC fan, I could go either way as long as there is a DC motor driving the fan.

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    we have ceiling fans at our cabin and a generator/inverter set up. the fans are the multi speed type. when the inverter was on the electric motor of the fan would make a fair amount of noise and the fans would suck down the batteries relatively quickly. annoying, but since it is a recreational cabin we just lived with it. our inverter died and i just replaced it last fall with a new one that is a pure sine wave inverter. the fans no longer make noise and their power consumption is way down. i talked to the guys at susitna energy who sold me the new inverter and they said that was a common problem with the older inverters. a lot of the modern appliances are not really compatible with anything but pure sine wave current. dimmer switches are another example. they may run on the others but will be very inefficient. this may not be much of a problem anymore with the newer generation of inverters but i would check before setting up a new system to avoid surprises.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks for that lakecreek. I am planning on having a pure sine wave inverter but didn't think that it could benefit a fan. I'm still a long way from having a system ready to install, but I favor the SureSine 300 from Morningstar. Nice sine wave output and no mechanical fan to break down or blow dust inside the unit.

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    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    I use two of the vari-cyclone ceiling fans. Since I have a loft, I also us 2 24 VDC surplus server fans in return air ducts to move air from the top of the loft ceiling down into the back bedrooms etc. I have a split wired cabin. Anything attached to the house with a switch comes directly off the batteries. Including the fans and all lights. The lights are all 24Vdc "pineapple" LED lights with the Edison base. I use 8 6V batteries wired in series/parallel and 6 185W Solar panels and a 4024 magnum pure sign inverter. Anything that plugs in to the outlets is run by that. It all works great and uses little battery power. The Vari Cyclones pretty much sip power. Advantages to a dual wired system are two fold. If the inverter fails I still have lights. And I don't (always) lose the 15% of battery power it takes just to run the inverter.

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