So we’re thinking of installing ventilation fans in the bathrooms — the window just doesn’t cut it for steam nor stank. Electrician can cut a hole in the ceiling, but says we should hire a roofer to cut the roof hole. Does it take a Ph.D to cut a hole in a roof? We can’t get one person qualified/willing to cut both holes and wire it up?
If we want to be able to control the fan independent of the light, need to run wiring down through the wall – a tedious job, and Electrician Dude says it’ll take all day to do both. There’s got to be a better way. Gave Berkeley Solar a call (the guy I talked to was really helpful, BTW), to see if there might be a way to power the fan from a PV cell and switch it on from a pull-chain. You’d think a unit like this would be available pre-fab, but no dice. Will have to assemble a kit from scratch.
$35 – 300W inverter
$35 – charge coupler
$50 – motorcycle battery
$300 – 50W photovoltaic cell
$100 – consulting fee to work out the whole kit, make sure everything plays nicely together
$20 – mounting brackets, switches, etc.
In other words, no savings over paying Electrician Dude to wire the wall. Except that it would be a fun project and have some geek cred. But we’re talking about a circuit that runs, what, 30 minutes a day?
If any entrepreneur wants to put together a self-contained solar unit like this, with integrated fan, for a fraction of the cost, I’d think you’d find a sizable market.