Solar exhuast fan

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JustClucky, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. JustClucky

    JustClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We bought our coop pre-fabricated to save time. We're in Texas and our summers get pretty killer so I'm thinking my coop will need more than just a couple of vent windows since I know that for me, opening a window on a hot summer day is no different than camping on the sun itself. SO, I'm not sure if I'm needing a fan to get air circulating or if I need an exhaust fan. Either way, I'm wanting to find a solar fan. That guy (the sun) is one hot miserable mess so I figure I might as well put him to work for me. [​IMG] Does anyone know where I could get one? Running electricity to the coop would be next to impossible but I know my girls will need a cooler breeze in there.
     
  2. MyShunshyn

    MyShunshyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I think I saw one in a Lowes ad once....I would check there first.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I don't htink it's worth your while, and would likely distract you from better coop design.

    The thing that will keep them coolest would be to have as large as possible an area of shade with *free air mvmt*, e.g. a coop that is only wire mesh on 2 or more sides. If you do that, the fan thing will be a moot point; and no leetle solar attic fan (which btw they aren't cheap, like a coupla hundred dollars) is going to do nearly as good a job.

    If "free air movement in the shade" is too hot on some days you would have to go to other means of cooling, e.g. a swamp cooler (misting fan) or frozen jugs of water for them to snuggle against.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. Merryment

    Merryment Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen these for beehives - if the bees don't have to stay in the hive to fan, there are more bees to bring in nectar. I looked one over once, and it was pretty simple - a low-wattage solar panel (5 watt, I think), computer fans and a tempostat to turn it on & off. Just a snap switch, they have them at Graingers for about $10. You could probably get parts & make one for about $60-70, if you're at all handy. You don't need anything as big as a house fan to get a bit of air moving. Google beehive solar fans & give it a look. I'm toying around with doing something similar for my girls this year.

    Good luck!
     
  5. JustClucky

    JustClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Awesome! Thank you!!! We have way too many predators out here for them to NOT be in a coop at night. We have a family of racoons and I don't know where they come from or where they live but there's about 15 of them, if not more. They're out every night and I KNOW how crafty they can be as we've found them in the strangest places behind locked doors and no signs of where they got in. Our coop and run need to be like Fort Knox. lol

    Anyway, I'm off to do some Googling! Thanks!
     
  6. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    It gets miserable in the summer here.
    At 11 pm the temps can still be in the 90's and no air moving. I have chickens that are very miserable that time of year. In the winter they huddle together and are happy but in the summer heat they have to roost next to each other and the more air that can move, the better. Solar fans have not worked for me. They do not run enough to keep the chickens cool or happy so I have a drop cord run from my mud room, down through the back yard and about 200 feet from my house I have power to plug in a few fans.

    This is the building that I try to cool the most. There are trees for shade but even with windows on all 3 sides and a huge screen door this shed is horribly smoldering in the night heat or for the poor crazy broody hens that dare to try and sit in there.

    This was taken a few years back but you get the idea of how many windows and how much air can move through this shed. I put a fan in one window blowing in. (The Silkies love to feel the breeze in their top knots as they go to bed since their roost is right under this window.) And I have a fan in the other window across the room blowing out. Storms can be a pain though so I am trying to work my fans up higher with more protection since I burned up a few last summer.

    [​IMG]
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  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my third summer here in North Texas with chickens, and I can attest to what Patandchickens is saying with first hand experience.

    Your first and best line of defense is natural shade. I goofed and built two of our coops where they get afternoon summer sun. One of the coops is open, wire only, on all four sides, and even with a largish electric fan running, it's way too hot by midafternoon in the summers. When your ambient temp is 100 in the shade, it can easily get up 110 -120 in the sun. Moving air isn't going to help that situation much. And the other problem is operating a fan in the high dust environment of a chicken coop. The motor vents can easily clog with dust and then the motor can burn out.

    Our third coop is in a part of the yard that's deep shade in the afternoon. Even though it's a closed (but properly ventilated) coop, it doesn't get hotter in there than the outside shade.

    I ice the water in the waterers. I park the chicken tractor in the shade and hose down part of the grass inside it several times each afternoon. You can also put out shallow pans of water for the chickens to stand in and cool their feet (feet and comb/wattles are the only parts of a chicken that don't come with down insulation).
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I haven't installed it in the new coop yet, but I found a solar powered "attic" exhaust fan. I'm hoping it will help some for our 100 degree days.
     
  9. JustClucky

    JustClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! [​IMG] I appreciate it! My dad says he'll ask around about it, too. [​IMG]
     
  10. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:computer size fans are NOT going to move enough air to do any good. I would think you'd want to check something like the exhaust fans people put on their roof to vent the attic. and anything can be set up to run off solar power, so to just automatically dismiss it is crazy. i know people who have their whole house 'off the grid' and am planning to build my next house off the grid and powered completely by the sun
     

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