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Solar powered vent size for Airhead Composting Toilet

 
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Salmon Fisher



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 802
City/Region: Arlington
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2004
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Kim Christine
Photos: Kim Christine
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2023 4:10 pm    Post subject: Solar powered vent size for Airhead Composting Toilet Reply with quote

We are ordering an Airhead Composting Toilet for our new-to-us 2004 25 Cruiser.
I know there was a discussion not too long ago about the specs being changed for the roof mounted Solar powered vent size and maybe fan size.

The vent hose from the toilet is 1 1/2" ID. Do all the roof top vents have that size to accept the vent hose?

Wondering what I need to order to make our system efficient and odor-free.

There are so many different solar powered vents on Amazon that I just can't decide. Seems like the Marinco used to be the only one a few years ago, now there seems to be countless options.

Thanks in advance!

_________________
Patrick and Kim Walker

2004 25 Cruiser-Present

2000 22 Cruiser 2009-2014 (Sold)
2006 25 Cruiser 2014-2019 (Sold)
1985 22 Classic -2019 (Sold)
1991 19 Arima Sea Ranger-2019-2021 (Sold)
2015 27 Ranger Tug-2019-2023 (Sold)
1987 22 Cruiser -2021-2023 (Sold)

Honey, this REALLY will be my last boat, honest!
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 20800
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2023 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fan for the Air Head, only draws 0.08 amps or in 24 hours, about 2 amp hours. The Nicro (now Marino) solar vent is the "standard" which has been used for years. I don't know if the cheaper ones will be comparable in noise, durability etc.

On our 25 the Micro solar vent was in place, but it was powered by the 12 volt boat's battery. At some point these solar vents give out--and you may get away with just replacing the batteries (I would use "Enlope" to replace), but I suspect that the solar cells were not producing enough power, so someone along the chain of ownership, had just cut the solar and AA batteries out and hard wired the fan. In fact when I sold the boat, I included new Nicro solar fans, for the main cabin and forward V berth area in SS.

The fan is necessary. Many times these are installed in either applications where it is not practical or safe to use a solar fan, and are used with an inline small computer fan.

My advice is just use the mini fan, and a small solar charger for your battery bank or a good smart battery charger (which I used) and skip the solar fan. If you want to go with solar, then the Chinese may be just as good-and you can buy 3 of them for the price of one genuine Nicro solar fan. But I don't really know how well the cheapies hold up on the boat--and we all know that Amazon "ratings" may be not accurate.

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Bob Austin
Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018 to Oct. 2021
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
KA6PKB
Home port: Pensacola FL
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srbaum



Joined: 30 Aug 2010
Posts: 875
City/Region: Portsmouth
State or Province: VA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 26 Venture
Vessel Name: Osprey
Photos: Osprey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2023 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience with the Nicro solar vent has been positive. I absolutely do not want anything connected to a boat battery, then I am not on the boat. My Air Head came with the 12VDC muffin fan at the top of the vent hose... I removed it and put a 4" Marinco Nicro solar fan above the head compartment and installed the same on the forward hatch. The forward hatch brings air in and the one in the head take air out. When you buy the vent it comes with two different fan blades, that you get to choose the direction of air flow.
Now 4 years and zero odor and the fans are still operating properly. They fans do slow down in the winter, due to less sunlight, but still run 24/7 in Virginia.
On a similar note, I installed the same fan on my trimaran sailboat 15 years ago and aside for replacing the battery 3 times, it still runs like the day I installed it.

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Steve Baum
Homeport of Portsmouth, VA
OSPREY (Ex Mister Sea) 2000 22 C-Dory 2010 - Sold 3/19
OSPREY (Ex ADITI) 2007 26 Cape Cruiser 2018
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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 4533
City/Region: Madison
State or Province: WI
C-Dory Year: 2009
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Traveler
Photos: C-Traveler and Midnight-Flyer
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2023 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Airhead no longer recommends using a solar powered vent, due to the fact they will not run long without sunshine. (You might get a nights run out of them, but if the next day is cloudy, it will stop working.) I have not had the same experience as Steve has with regards to the Marinco Solar Vents I've owned. They're nice when they work, but unless you have sunlight every day, they will die after a cloudy day. So airhead now recommend using their small (computer) fan, and any of several 3" vents. This was their tech's reply to me earlier:

I've seen some hook it up to their solar vents. However, there are times the solar vent fan stops working, with cloudy days.

We do not recommend solar vents anymore. In the beginning we did. They can let wind in when it gusts. They do not run 24/7 after a cloudy day, and can expose the system to insect invasion. They also do not prevent water ingress. They are designed to circulate air through the cabin but for that application, it was never critical for the unit to run 100% of the time.

We recommend the following, in connection to the battery:
1. Nicro Air Vent 500, 3"
2. Vetus UFO 3"
3. Mushroom vent, 3".

I went with no. 1 and it works great. The airhead comes with the little computer fan in an end fitting that fits on the end of the vent hose. I simply made a small spacer on the Nicro Air Vent, below my ceiling, to attach that end fitting to. I tied the fan in with my lighting circuit, since wiring was already in the head for the light. The minimal amount of current it draws has not been a problem. Of course when I'm not on the water or plugged in when on the trailer at home, I shut the circuit down. Any breeze over the vent still draws air out of it, and the boat isn't sitting long before use during the season. BTW, I found Airhead to be very responsive to all my questions. I emailed them at: support@airheadtoilet.com.

Colby
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Salmon Fisher



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 802
City/Region: Arlington
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2004
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Kim Christine
Photos: Kim Christine
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2023 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Bob, Steve and Colby.
Just the information needed for the switch over.
C-Brats are Awesome!
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