Solar Powered Fan For Parked SUV

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Apr 30, 2005
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I have an older Ford Expedition that is in great shape but just doesn't get used that much.
I'll use it for short trips to the hardware store and taking the dogs to the vet etc.
In the summertime I use a reflective shade on the inside of the front windshield.
That helps a lot but it still gets hot inside when our temperatures go from 90 - 110 F.
Since it parked outdoors it has a tendency to get very hot inside.
I was thinking about getting a small solar panel to leave inside the vehicle and use it to move the air a little through slightly opened windows.
Any recommendations on what might be suitable?
I have seen some on Amazon but I'm just not sure which one would be sufficient.
I would like to buy it once with no trial and error and keep it under $75 if I can.
 
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5,321
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New Mexico
If you want to forego the solar...they make great small fans that run off
USB > 12v/110 inverter. We use 2 at night for cross ventilation in our RV
they barely sip any power. Safety shut off so your battery should always
start your ride. Should be able to get 2 10" at Amazon for under budget.
If you ever charge cells/laptops/camera batteries etc. you probably have
an inverter already in that SUV. HTH ;)
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
I'm not a warm weather person and I've tried a number of the solar fans that fit onto the top of the window; the paradox is they all need lots of sunlight to work well but that only makes the heat in the vehicle rise faster. Even at full blast, they just don't move enough air to combat the solar gain. A $100 carport-style tent at home is probably more effective for the cost, or perhaps one of these might be a good mobile option.

Sean
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,335
Location
Southern Cal
If you want to forego the solar...they make great small fans that run off
USB > 12v/110 inverter. We use 2 at night for cross ventilation in our RV
they barely sip any power. Safety shut off so your battery should always
start your ride. Should be able to get 2 10" at Amazon for under budget.
If you ever charge cells/laptops/camera batteries etc. you probably have
an inverter already in that SUV. HTH ;)
Thanks Will.
Just the alarm system alone will deplete the battery after about a month.
That is probably the longest length of time it stays parked without starting.
I bought one of these portable jump starters and it works great for that occasion when I haven't started it up in a month and needs a jump. I can get at least 4 good jumps without recharging if it is fully charged and the battery needing attention is fully depleted.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073FD3NKW/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have since installed a solar trickle charger to at least maintain the charge in the battery and it works great. Haven't had to use the jump start method in quite some time. It gets plenty of sun to operate even in the winter season. I have it placed adjacent to one of the rear wing windows. In looking at my jump starter it has a USB outlet. I am just not sure how long it would keep a fan going. Daytime is my biggest concern which is why I thought solar. You indicated they kind of sip the electricity. If I can find some suitable USB fans I can try running them from the jump starter. If they do not work that well I can always add a solar panel with a USB outlet. Will, you mentioned you have two in your RV and they work great. Any information on the manufacturer and model number? Based on your responses I think one would suit me just fine. Powering it would be my only hurdle I think.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,335
Location
Southern Cal
I'm not a warm weather person and I've tried a number of the solar fans that fit onto the top of the window; the paradox is they all need lots of sunlight to work well but that only makes the heat in the vehicle rise faster. Even at full blast, they just don't move enough air to combat the solar gain. A $100 carport-style tent at home is probably more effective for the cost, or perhaps one of these might be a good mobile option.

Sean
I live in a highly sunny area. I think its just matter of finding the right fan to do the job.
I was having a problem with my car alarm system draining the battery after about a month. Bought a solar battery trickle charger to only keep it maintained. Got lucky in that my 12VDC outlets in the SUV are still connected to the battery with the engine off so the trickle charger was able to be connected to the battery all the time. Definitely not a battery charger. It works fantastic. My rear windows in the SUV are heavily factory tinted and it still gets enough light to sustain.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
7,406
Location
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
I live in a highly sunny area. I think its just matter of finding the right fan to do the job.
I was having a problem with my car alarm system draining the battery after about a month. Bought a solar battery trickle charger to only keep it maintained. Got lucky in that my 12VDC outlets in the SUV are still connected to the battery with the engine off so the trickle charger was able to be connected to the battery all the time. Definitely not a battery charger. It works fantastic. My rear windows in the SUV are heavily factory tinted and it still gets enough light to sustain.
The problem is the fan manufacturers are not interested in constructing an ideal machine that efficiently uses the available power to move the correct volume of air to correct the temp problem; they are mainly interested in a product that costs little to make using whatever sourcing is available from China, is light enough to ship without great cost and has a reasonable consumer price point that will attract sales. Maybe the power is there but the window opening is too small or the fan blades are too small for the volume of air needed? In any case, they don't have engineers cracking open the thermodynamics textbook to solve it - they're just cranking out what they think will sell effectively.

If it could be done at an efficient cost, I would guess the car manufacturers themselves would have already implemented a solution as part of the vehicle - Tesla is just now taking that on since they have a big power supply available that doesn't require the engine to be running in order to work: Tesla Cabin Overheat Protection Put To The Test

Sean
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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