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Solar Ceiling Fans Questions & Answers Vari-Cyclone and Vari-Fan

Solar Ceiling Fans Questions & Answers Vari-Cyclone and Vari-Fan

Does anyone make a 12 volt light kit to put on the Vari ceiling fans?

There are no light kits for the Vari-Cyclone or Vari-Fans because they are direct drive from a small and highly efficient TENV (totally enclosed non-ventilated) DC motor with a solid steel shaft. So, there is no hole in the shaft through which to route wires. The entire lower housing which is attached to the motor shaft also holds the blades, unlike conventional inefficient AC fans and some other low voltage ceiling fans. The benefit is amazing energy efficiency, but no lights.  Running 24 hours a day at 12 volts, the Vari-Cyclone draws about 144 watt-hours.

Is the speed control unit a needed item?

Unless you are planning on running the fan panel direct for operation during daylight hours, which is a common way to run these fans in outdoor settings, my personal opinion as a Vari-Cyclone owner and user is that the Speed Control is a must. But, the fan will run fine battery direct. The issue is that you will not be able to adjust the speed – it will run according to the battery current. The Speed Control also has a 3 position toggle switch to let you turn the fan on, off or to run counterclockwise. Counterclockwise operation is helpful with the Vari-Fan models. Because of the aerodynamic design of the Vari-Cyclone blades, running counterclockwise isn’t of much benefit.

Why is the Speed Control sold separately?

The Speed Control is sold separately because of the many different ways the ceiling fans are used: outdoors running solar panel direct, or indoors where the speed of the fan doesn't matter for the space where it is installed.

What is the Speed Control?  How does it work?

The speed control is a linear current booster with a potentiometer so that you can turn the current down to minimum (which is how we use the fan in the room where the wood stove is located during the winter – running all night it draws down about .01 volts from a 260 amp 12 volt battery bank) or boost the current from a 12 volt battery to right at 30 volts to move almost 4,000 cubic feet of air with the 3 blade model.

What is the energy consumption of the three blade Vari-Cyclone fan running full speed using the Speed Control?

The answer to this question is important for sizing an off grid solar system where the fan is likely to be used 24 hours per day, such as in hot climates or in greenhouses or livestock barns.  We asked the factory to run a test on the VC-3 operating on Speed Control at full speed.  The answer is 30.4 watts at 12 volts.

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