Arisaig Centre

Conservatory + Greenhouse Blog

Monthly Archive: February 2017

Solar energy – installing a solar fan in your greenhouse

The pricing of energy has never been on a steeper rising curve than it is now. Switching to solar power is one of the best investments you can do. Fossil fuels will eventually run out, whilst their price will increase, but solar power will still be here in billions of years. Embrace the future today, as it has never been easier to make the switch to solar energy. Greenhouse owners often choose to add a solar-powered vent fan, which gives them a more precise measure of influence over the atmospheric status of the greenhouse. Great produce will need a good amount of sunlight, warmth, as well as humidity – all of which are controlled by such a vent fan.
Here are a few basic steps to guide you if you plan on installing one:
  1. Determine where the fan & thermostat will be placed.

    If you have a home with an attic vent fan, the thermostat will be placed either on the roof or along the sides of the attic walls. The fan itself will be automatically controlled through the thermostat. With greenhouses, the same principle applies. The fan itself must have good airflow, in and out of the greenhouse, so mark the place accordingly. Dr
    aw the outline of the fan on the surface where it will be placed.
  2. Cut the surface accordingly

    In the case of plexiglass, a plexiglass blade or jig saw will be needed in order to cut properly. If you have glass, simply remove the pane where the fan will be installed. However, if the dimensions aren’t just right (and they rarely are), you
    will need a glass cutter. Alternatively, there might be a glass shop nearby where they could cut it for you. Drill holes in each of the corners, then carefully follow the straight lines you marked earlier.
  3. Install the solar panel and the thermostat.

    If the vent fan’s solar panel is detached, you preferably want to install it in a place where it will get as much sun as possible during the day. Crossbeams are useful in securing it in place. Next up, the thermostat can also be placed on the
    crossbeam, after cutting the plexiglass (or glass). Self-tapping screws made of metal are recommended in securing these devices.
  4. Install the fan.

    Place the fan in the hole you made for it and make sure you secure it adequately with its mounting bracket. Tighten all the connections you need to make, and then replace the pane or plexiglass by using a bead of weatherproof caulk, ensuring an airtight seal.
  5. Secure the wiring

    Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when connecting all the necessary devices – solar panel to thermostat, to fan. Make sure they are safe from water damage and are insulated properly, as well as being fixed in their trajectory (and not hanging loosely about).

    There you have it! A solar-powered vent fan in your greenhouse is a good solution for maintaining a healthy atmosphere inside your garden. What’s more, be ready to see the electrical bills drop. Of course, the greenhouse fan is a nice experiment to see if you can make a dedicated switch over to full solar-power. It will convince you as you will notice the savings you’ll make every month. This is even more true in the summer, the long days and plentiful sun making your system work more efficiently.