Ceiling fan recommendations?

HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭
We've decided to replace a hanging light fixture in our cabin's stairwell / entryway with a ceiling fan. The place is off grid (see my sig for details), so I'm keen to come up with an energy efficient solution.

Our cabin has a main level above ground with 2 bedrooms, the only bathroom, and a "great room" kitchen / dining / living room. The basement is about 50% below grade, and has another 2 bedrooms, a relatively large multi-purpose room, and utilities stuff like the water heater and water pressure tank. Typically in both cold and warm weather, the basement is about 10-15 degrees cooler than the main level. The main entryway into the building is on the stair landing between floors, and this is where we are thinking of putting the ceiling fan to force a bit of circulation. 

I tried to search the forum for stuff about ceiling fans (Googled  "ceiling fan site:https://forum.solar-electric.com/") but most of the stuff I found was somewhat dated, and/or didn't really scratch my itch.  So I thought I would post here and see what others who have a ceiling fan in an off grid solar install are currently using.

In looking at the specs on various ceiling fans, I've come up with a couple of thoughts (not quite requirements yet, but maybe they will be):
  1. It looks like DC fans (that is, 120VAC fixtures with a DC motor) are much more efficient, so I'm leaning that way.
  2. Most of the better ceiling fans come with a remote control, and some even require it. The problem I see is that for a remote control to work, the fan fixture (or rather the receiver in it) must be powered all the time. That means that if the fan and light are off, it is still consuming power. May not be much, but seems unacceptable for an off grid install.
Although I don't know much about inverter motors like are on the energy efficient refrigerator / HVAC compressors, it seems like that technology would benefit here as well, but it probably is overkill. My guess is that the starting surge of these motors is already pretty low as well.

I'd appreciate any testimonials for what others have done, but I'd also like to hear any other thoughts.
Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,451 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have a 12vdc ceiling fan in the bedroom.  Don't recall the specs offhand, but it's pretty efficient, and obviously doesn't need to keep an inverter awake all night to run.  The remote is battery powered.  I don't think the fan uses any power when not in use, but I have it on its own breaker and only close the breaker when the fan is used.

    In your application, I'd first consider a supply/return ducted loop using an inline DC fan.  A ceiling fan will tend to move the stratified air around the strata (the landing in this case), and not be particularly efficient at moving air from basement to above grade.  A ducted loop could (eg) pressurize the basement, forcing cool air up the stairwell.  A cheap computer muffin fan might do the job.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,021 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These are such lo energy users I think you might be overthinking this. However, you are right about the DC fans possibly being more efficient but I would look at home depot sells/reviews and warranty. These fans should last 10+ years. 

    The old style have very lo surge so take that off the list. Mine are really old but do not get much use anymore thanks to an LG split.
    If you have a home assistant like Alexa, she can turn the fan on and off and say you are welcome. :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019 #4
    Thanks @Estragon

    We're trying to avoid DC for this application, mostly because the 120VAC wiring is already there (we would replace the entryway hanging light fixture) and the wiring is not really accessible without tearing out some drywall on the wall and high ceiling.

    I don't think I know exactly what you mean by ducted loop.  There is no ducting in the place currently. However, I think I understand the general concept: Rather than a ceiling fan that will mostly just cycle air in the stairwell, create positive pressure on the main floor and negative pressure in the basement (or vice versa) to force some circulation.  I had originally aimed for a floor-to-floor fan, that would mount in the floor upstairs connecting to the ceiling of the multipurpose room in the basement, but the only one I could find was pretty inefficient energy-wise. In addition, this approach would be hard-sell with my siblings (co-owners).

    Edit to add: I have read some about this ceiling fan in the stairwell approach. The ceiling fan moves so much air (compared to the little duct fan) that over time it does actually cause some circulation of ambient air between the two floors. Better than nothing!
    Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 728 ✭✭✭✭
    @Horsefly,
    We bought our 56" 120V AC fan with DC motor at Home depot. I think it was $145. Moves a lot of air at low watts. The radio receiver power consumption seems inconsequential when I have our hybrid inverter in off grid mode. Attached the fans specs.

    Rick


    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 195AH LiFePO4 no BMS, Kohler Pro 5.2E.
  • HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭
    Raj174 said:
    @Horsefly,
    We bought our 56" 120V AC fan with DC motor at Home depot. I think it was $145. Moves a lot of air at low watts. The radio receiver power consumption seems inconsequential when I have our hybrid inverter in off grid mode. Attached the fans specs.

    Rick


    Thanks Rick!  Those are some great low energy specs. Do you have any idea of what the manufacturer / model was of your fan? I'm on the HD site, but....
    Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 728 ✭✭✭✭
    Horsefly said:
    Raj174 said:
    @Horsefly,
    We bought our 56" 120V AC fan with DC motor at Home depot. I think it was $145. Moves a lot of air at low watts. The radio receiver power consumption seems inconsequential when I have our hybrid inverter in off grid mode. Attached the fans specs.

    Rick


    Thanks Rick!  Those are some great low energy specs. Do you have any idea of what the manufacturer / model was of your fan? I'm on the HD site, but....
    This is the exact fan.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Decorators-Collection-Breezemore-56-in-LED-Indoor-Mediterranean-Bronze-Ceiling-Fan-with-Light-Kit-and-Remote-Control-51556/301161776

    The specs are either not complete or not correct as they indicate a 3 speed fan. The description is correct indicating a 9 speed, which is what I have. Got mine on sale, about $20 less
    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 54.4V 195AH LiFePO4 no BMS, Kohler Pro 5.2E.
  • HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks again Rick. I'm making a list of candidate fans, and this is on the list.
    Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.
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