Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Failing fan

The Fuso Szulc expedition vehicle is equipped with a Dometic Classic fridge.
This refrigerator can work on 120 volts electricity or on propane.
Most of the time the Fuso Szulc is far away from electricity and the fridge runs on propane.
However, the cooling capacity when a fridge works on propane is lower compared to when it works on electricity.

To this comes the fact that the Fuso Szulc is usually in areas where it is warm.
Like now, next to the “Estero del Tomate” in Mexico, daily temperatures reach around 33º C. (91,5º F.)
It is hard for the Dometic Classic fridge on propane to keep the temperatures low inside.

What could make a difference is to use a “Solar Fridge Exhaust Fan”.
This invention controls the heat build up in the vent compartment behind the refrigerator.
This heat build up can dramatically reduce the efficiency of the refrigerator.
The idea is to mount the ventilator behind the fridge.
It will blow away up into the air the heat of the cooling fins.
Making the fridge work more efficiently.

The “Solar Fridge Exhaust Fan” is easy to install: a small solar panel on the roof and a cable to the ventilator.
If ordered from Amazon.com, it costs around $ 55. (€ 38)
And next, it works.
Doesn’t need any attention or service.

All this sounds like a good thing to do and a “Solar Fridge Exhaust Fan” was ordered, taken to Mexico by a friend and installed behind the fridge of the Fuso Szulc.

But within three months the “Solar Fridge Exhaust Fan” has stopped working.
Two problems.
One is that the solar panel has its solar cells not sealed properly.
Moisture has gotten inside the panel and is corrupting the efficiency of the solar cells.

But most dramatically and essential is that the small electrical engine of the fan has failed.
Within three months it has gotten stuck.
The moving part inside the electrical engine is experiencing resistance so it is hard to turn it around.
Maybe this is because of wear and tear.
Poor quality of the engine that can only serve for three months.

This “Solar Fridge Exhaust Fan” is made in Taiwan.
By a small company called Solatron Incorporated.

The boss there is Mr. Richard Hsu.
He was e-mailed and informed about the problems experienced with the Solatron Incorporated product.
Until now no results are coming from this communication.
Mr. Hsu claims that the solar panel is not made by his company and he does not respond at all to the malfunctioning fan.

This is a very different experience as has been recently had with the company in the USA that makes the Fan-Tastic Vents.
In the bathroom of the Fuso Szulc is a roof vent with ventilator made by Fan-Tastic Vent.
A switch broke as well as the hinge.
An e-mail was sent to the service department of Fan-Tastic Vent and the same day they shipped the items to Mexico.

We will wait now how Solatron Incorporated will honour service and quality.


To learn more about the
"Solar Fridge Exhaust Fan”, check:





chockwald said...

Since you spend a significant amount time in a marine climate where the salt in the air, along with the attendant moisture will cause the fan motor to fail at a faster rate than if you were in a dry climate far from the ocean salt air. This same salt air will also cause the solar panel to fail faster. You would need a marine grade solar panel and fan motor to overcome the salt air corrosion, and that will cost you significantly more than you have paid.

RV Girl said...

I have the opposite experience. Our Dometic runs much colder on propane than when we are camped in a RV park and hooked-up to shore power.

Anonymous said...

Chockwald shoud visit the websites that are mentioned in the posting. There we learn that the solar panel and the fan are sealed. No salt air can get into the fan motor and not into the solar panel.
This is, when the promised quality is good.
Obviously it is not.

Anonymous said...

Why do you get a solarpowered fan? You got all the solarpower from your big cells on the roof?? I would try a computer fan. They are dirtcheap and you can get them probably in Mexico as well. I don´t know about the corrotion though...