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    Has anyone experimented with wind-driven whirlbirds, or (if they exist) solar-powered, self-contained, whirlbirds? How much maintenance do they need? How many does one need? Can they be left to their own devices for weeks? Can one power a heat-recovery unit with solar?

    I am not ready to go fully off-grid, but I would like to have vital always-on functionality to be off-grid, i.e. ventilation, which is an issue for our container house project. I am thinking to experiment with a 20x8 ft container, while building the container up from the inside. This will be done off-grid using hand tools and a generator, on weekends only. Thus, ventilation will need to be off-grid, b.c. the container will be locked for the rest of the time, w/o power.
    I would have thought that a 2m chimney in one corner and a hole in the opposite corner at ground level would provide ventilation without any more sophistication, relying on the chimney effect.
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    There are solar-powered trickle vents for boats that are used to stop mould formation whilst the boat is locked up on its mooring.

    My MVHR is partially solar-powered, in that I have PV panels. I expect I could make it entirely solar-powered by turning it off except when the sun shines. I expect a battery would be needed for a smaller space, since no ventilation overnight would likely be problematic..
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    A 12v (bathroom) single room mvhr should do it with PV should do it. 10 watts or so on low power setting IIRC?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    BedZED had some nice passiv and wind powered ventilators

    I like your ideas of powered ventilation, you may well need to involve batteries, better still hydro.
    Thank you, all. I agree that a battery would need to be involved. This could probably be done with a 12V. I will look for a self-contained PV kit. Assuming a 10W always-on operation, how bid of a PV do you think I would need (to constantly output 10W, with another 50% to spare to account for battery degradation, dust build-up on the PV etc?

    The chimney comment is a good one. One the container is stationary on my own rented/owned land, I will investigate that option. I can't have a chimney at the moment b.c. the container would be stationed in a storage space on a commercial ground, so it's sort of a grey area. I am not going to live there, but I was going to build a liveable space in it, while paying low storage rates for the container (thinking 100-150 a month). A chimney sticking out of it may attract unnecessary attention. A PV lying flat on the roof would be less likely to do so.
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    Posted By: tonyBedZED had some nice passiv and wind powered ventilators
    From my visit over a decade ago, they were giving problems, where very large and can cause a fair bit of noise when turning.
    Simple fan, battery and PV would be the easy solution.
    You should be able to get 12 PV modules on the roof of a shipping container. More with a bit of creative roof work.
    So you should easily get 3 kWp on one.
    ~~~So you should easily get 3 kWp on one.~~~

    I will start small, experiment, and then slowly build up. At the moment, I would rather have several small self-contained modules than a large one. Creates redundancy, i.e. good.

    Would a complete module rated at 100W be able to keep up with topping-up the charge of a 12V battery which is constantly being drained out by a fan at 10W, year-round, with the PV pointing straight up? The battery will be a lead acid one. I have been burned with overseas-made electronics recently, so I am willing to pay 2x ebya prices for a kit that has been beta-tested, and has a local business standing behind it.

    Here is a complete module sans battery. Thumbs up/down?

    • CommentTime5 days ago
    Well OTT. You can buy a complete solar-powered fan for £40 or so. Just search for "solar powered boat ventilation fan". Or spend a bit more for a more powerful fan & panel.
    Posted By: SteamyTeaYou should be able to get 12 PV modules on the roof of a shipping container.

    Providing they don't stack the containers:shocked:
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    I would be tempted to go for a kW of PV and an islanding inverter. That way you get a decent amount of power in low light levels and can easily connect to the grid if it is available.
    I think Victron do a complete system that can incorporate batteries as well. Though any decent excess can be stored as hot water as that is cheap and easy to DIY.
    PV modules are cheap if you stick to bog standard ones. You pay extra for low voltage stuff that the boat people seem to like.
    ***Well OTT. You can buy a complete solar-powered fan for £40 or so.

    This would stop working once the sun is down. I agree that most ventilation issues occur during daylight, but...
    +++Providing they don't stack the containers

    In the place where the container would be housed -- no stacking. During shipping, I'd remove the PV
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
    Posted By: runcyclexcski***Well OTT. You can buy a complete solar-powered fan for £40 or so.

    This would stop working once the sun is down. I agree that most ventilation issues occur during daylight, but...

    Depends; some of the fans have batteries in. But in any case I'm not sure what your use case is exactly. The fans are sufficient to provide enough ventilation through an otherwise sealed space to keep the air fresh and prevent decay. They're not intended to ventilate a space that is in use.
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