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Old 02-18-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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Natures Head Power and Venting

Hi,

We are about to install a Nature's Head composting toilet in our '59 Tradewind and I'm looking for some advice on setting up for proper venting and power supply. The only power requirement for the head is a small (computer style ) vent fan which draws 1.7 amp hours per 24 hour period (DC).

Could anyone recommend a solar panel kit to place on the roof and route to my battery to replenish this power usage? I think I should be looking in the 15-20 watt range? I'm concerned about mounting hardware.

Also, Can anyone recommend a small, cheap, and reliable solar powered pipe vent which I could place on the 1.5" vent pipes (seen in pics) to add additional air draw.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Air Head Dry Toilet: Environmental Toilets with Compact Convenience: Ordering
Here is a link to airhead that have a solar panel to run theirs. We have the airhead and have been using it three years and love it. We are full timing now. Hope that this helps.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #3
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Somehow, cheap and reliable don't go together in the same sentence. IMHO
Many electrical devices are rated in ampere hours. Which means the device requires a certain amount of current (amps) continuously for every hour it runs. Many devices, like a solar panel are rated in watts (amps x volts= watts).
This does not mean that the solar panel will produce it's full capacity for the entire time the sun is up. Since the ability of the panel is dependent on it's relative positioning to the sun. Early morning and late afternoon exposure is limited because the panel will not be facing the sun straight on. Even the latitude you are in will impact the efficiency of the panel.
When the manufacture says the fan consumes a certain amount of power. They need to clarify that data. Is it 1.7 amps x 12 volts which equals @ 2 watts for every hour it runs. Which would be 48 watt hours per 24 hour period. Or is it 2 watts of consumption per day. I believe it is the former, not the latter. You would need a power source, be it solar, wind or just the converter when hooked to shore power that is capable of replenishing the amount of power consumed per unit of time.
For example: If the fan consumes 48 watt/hours per day. And you had one hour of 100% exposure to the sun that day. A 50 watt solar panel would do the job. If you had 2 hours of 100% exposure to the sun. A 25 watt solar panel would do the job.
This is over simplified for clarity. But I think you can get the picture.
Does the fan run continuously? Or does it cycle on and off?
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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The fan would run continuously.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Well Steve stated 1.7 amp hours per day for a 12V fan so 1.7AH X 12V =20.4 watt hours per day, 0.85 watts per hour.

With that said it is more important to know why you want a solar panel for it.

Do you just want to keep the battery up while in storage?
If this is the case a 15-20 watt panel would be plenty, but may not recharge the battery if it's low.

Are you boondocking and don't want the extra draw to effect the batteries?
If this is the case you would be better off getting a more complete solar system for your entire trailer.
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