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Keeping the fan going without killing off the batteries

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What is the issue?
Sailing in tropical waters can at times get very hot. This is especially the case in equatorial regions with high humidity, when the breeze dies there it is very challenging in the extreme. A breath of moving cooling air becomes imperative but fans typically consume enormous amounts of battery power.

Why address this?
Reaching a balance where fans may be operated without sacrificing too much power is a situation that could make life bearable in oppressive environments.

How to address this?
Select the vessel's fans with economical power consumption and maximum airflow per amp. In hot weather the vessel's fans will be one of the most cherished pieces of equipment aboard, and more so if there is no concern about their power consumption.

Typically yacht fans are bought in haste from automobile supply outlets. These fans do not cost very much and have limited or no power reduction consideration factored into their design. By focusing on a fan's power consumption at purchase a lot of power savings can be derived whilst also shifting that air.

Our improvised 0.2 amps fan
Photo: Michael Harpur

We searched high and low until we found the above fan which only consumed 0.2 amps. We bought several of them and adapted them variously with boards and clamps so they could be deployed in different locations. The protective grills were removed to enhance airflow and get as much out of them as possible. Alongside these power misers, we also had some cheap powerful 12volt fans that really shifted the air but drew a lot of power to use when motoring or trickle charging by the engine.

Caframo two speed 12 volt fan
Photo: Courtesy of Caframo

A good off the shelf boating choice is the above Caframo Fan. It's quiet and compact, has two speeds that shift a lot of air yet it only draws 0.3 amp at the slow setting, and 0.5 amp at high.
Please note

Fans can cause electrical noise that interferes with the SSB/ham radio. So you may have to turn the fans off when broadcasting or listening to sailing nets.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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