Solar power fans?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 17, 2009
Purcellville VA
Sorry if this is a repeat question - I searched and got lots of posts in the results, but not really what I was looking for.

I'm looking for some kind of fan that I can run on solar power for my chicken house. I don't have electricity to it unless I run a power cord from the horse barn, except hubby keeps mowing the power cord. Love that he mows. Wish he would let me know so I can collect the power cord ahead of time.....

Anyways, anyone know of a fan powered by a solar panel of some kind that I can mount on the roof? Or how to rig one up myself? My chicken house is not structurally designed to be able to have a lot of "windows" (ie openings with harware wire), and need to get more air into it....

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10 Years
Mar 21, 2009
Port Deposit, MD
A truck stop would sell a DC powered fan. Set up the solar panel to charge a battery that the fan operates off of. Or you can use an inverter.
DH is in the process of setting up a solar system to operate all the lights for the coop. I'll be posting (hopefully) all about it later this summer.

Also, to add more air movement, we installed attic vents (the kind that spin) to the roofs of our coops.


10 Years
Nov 23, 2009
Deep In The Left Atrium Of TX
Son built a solar powered heater (using aluminum cans painted black and a plain ol' 9v battery, etc) for his science project...

Radio Shack had most of the things he needed... but I saw some listings on ebay too when I was snooping.

If you didn't want to pay for a specialized one then maybe you could use a regular fan, laying around, and wire it for use with a solar cell?

Haven't done it myself, but theoretically it's possible.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
The problem is that any solar fan you can afford is just not going to move much air.

Honestly, no offense meant, I think your energy and money would much better be spent on making large openings in the walls (even if you have to add some structural beefing-up at the same time), or if that is *literally* impossible then the building is honestly not really very appropriate for keeping chickens in and you might want to start working on something more suitable...

Good luck, have fun,



11 Years
Jul 25, 2008
Near US 287
"Passive" solar methods are the most reliable. Put some vent holes up high and some down low and the hot air will "thermosiphon" itself out of the coop.

If you NEED active venting, I would stay away from the automotive style fans - they have pretty hungry motors. "Muffin" fans (like in computers) are quiet and move air with less amperage, because the motors are more efficient (but more expensive to make). If you look around in your area you may find a source for used ones, so you don't have to pay radioshack prices. Look for used computer parts or surplus electronics stores.

Here's an online source - I'm sure there are many.

For solar power you might try looking for VW panels - for a while VW included a panel with suction cups and a cigar-lighter plug, to keep the battery voltage from dropping during shipping. I've seen them on ebay. You'll have to total the amperage of the fans you're using and buy enough photovoltaic panels to drive them. Since you would need the most air movement when the sun is hottest you should be able to design the system without battery storage.

Still, though, passive solar can move a LOT of air around.
These two link can help you design overhangs on your coop roof to use shading to keep the heat out.

My coop uses ventilated roof channels
with soffit venting at both ends. That keeps the ceiling from becoming a broiler oven. It works really well. The channels are available at most building supply houses.


10 Years
Mar 16, 2010
Los Angeles
I can't find it now, but when I was shopping for resin sheds, I remember coming across solar shed fans. I don't know if they would work well or not. It's super hot here today and there's no shade over my coop but the inside is much cooler with the window and vent panel down. The chickens have been hanging out under the coop in their bathbowls they dug for themselves.

I have an outlet in my coop and was thinking about putting in a small fan if needed, but it seems okay so far.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Except that you will get much MORE bang for your buck if you just have as much as possible of the WHOLE WALL (preferably mroe than one) be open, so that there is lots of fresh air and the whole coop is no hotter than the outside air. (Which is better than most fan-operated arrangements will achieve, and the best you can possibly expect TO get in the absence of an actual Source of Coolth).

Really, just big big openings in the coop walls is the BEST way of keeping the coop cool in summertime. Worth whatever structural aggravation is needed to achieve it.

JME, good luck, have fun,


Bear Foot Farm

11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
Grifton NC
Rather than spend a lot of money on a fan that won't really do a lot, why not invest in a roll of underground Nomex wire, and BURY a line to the coop so you will have all the power you want, and no danger of hitting it with a mower?

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