Cooling 8 Sunny Boys [RE-wrenches]

Jeff Clearwater clrwater at
Tue Apr 6 23:47:38 PDT 2004


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Hi All,

Anyone out there have a good multiple sunny boy cooling system that 
is more reliable and cheaper than the sunny breeze?

Before the sunny breeze was introduced, I installed 4 sunny boys with 
a cooling fan set up consisting of a tranformer-based 4 A, 12V power 
supply powering four 12 V, .6 amp ball bearing fans controlled by 
running the AC input to the power supply through a standard line 
voltage make-on-rise thermostat mounted above one of the sunny boy 
heatsinks. It also powers a fifth fan for the power shed.  It's 
worked perfectly for almost 2 years.

Now I'm adding 4 more sunny boys to the shed and coincidently while I 
was pondering how best to expand the system the power supply failed. 
It may have failed because the on-time is high since it senses 
ambient temp - not heat sink temp.

So my options as I see it:

1) Tear that all out and buy 8 sunny breezes - $700 and live with 3 
wall warts with questionable life
2) Buy four more fans, a 50 watt solar panel and run them direct. 
$400.    Concern:  Fans will have short life if run during all 
sunlight hours without heat sink thermostat control.
3) Buy a high quality solid state 8 amp power supply (like a 
MeanWell) and four more fans and either move the thermostat closer to 
the heat sink or get a heat sink thermostat rated to the AC input 
amperage and control the power supply.


1) Does anyone know of a reliable off-the-shelf heat sink mountable 
thermostat that can handle the amperage of the input of the power 
supply (perhaps .1 amp at 240VAC or 2 amps at 120) (I've used 
standard electric water heater thermostats in the past for custom 
solar hot water systems - their double pole double throw so you can 
use one side for make on rise - Thier temp range is about right and 
surely can handle the amperage - but are really bulky and 
unprofessional looking! (and no way to cover exposed wires)

2) Does anyone have experience with high reliability fans and/or 
power supplies and/or heat sink thermostats?

3) Generally what do we think the life of a sunny breeze is?  Is it 
the fan or the wall wart that'll fail first?  How long?

Any help before I go out and spend money would be most appreciated 
from such esteemed colleagues as you.


Jeff C.
Jeff Clearwater
Village Power Design Associates
jeffc at
Sustainable Energy & Water Solutions for Home & Village

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