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We are considering fitting a Solarventi Sv3 a Solar powered ventilation system to our new boat -have you come accross this and have any thoughts? We welcome you opinion
Thank you
Steve and Sally Edis

Asked by: SALLY EDIS  | 8.43pm, Thursday 27 January

WW says:

Interesting idea! Many boats, especially yachts, fit small solar powered vents, often with a battery, to give 24hr ventilation. Some owners duct one down to the bilge by hose, to give underfloor/cabin bilge ventilation, which is a very good idea. they are very good at combatting condensation all year round- although leaving several windows open slightly can achieve much the same effect.
My only concern would be that horizontal positioning of the unit you would want, would draw air off the either hot or cold steel surface- and, unless you fitted several units, airflow through the cabin might be unusual.
Alseo, the unit will not count as part of the ventilation component of the RCD/Boat safety examination, so careful positioning would be needed- and also to avoid drawing in air that was exiting other fixed vents, and not interferring with fuel burning appliances.
You might want to consider how the unit will fit against the non-flat tumblehome of a narrowboat roof (or even of a cruiser) and how the appearance of the unit will look (though much like any other solar panel!)
You might find that general extract ventilation via cheaper methods more useful on a boat- such as individual solar units, especially of the cabin bilge, as this is where most unseen damage occurs. Also, the heat recovery component of the solarventi system might not be that appropriate on a boat, depending on the system fitted. Heating boats is not difficult, though good air distribution is (often cold air at the feet, too warm above!), though this could be solved with maxtrix blow-air units, within a wet central heating system.
If you do go ahead with the system, then let us know how you get on.

Mark Langley  | 12.04AM, Friday 28 January

I think it is a good idea, especially if you will be leaving the boat shut up for long periods. The unit will push solar heated air into the boat during the hottest part of the day. This will displace the colder damp air within the boat. It will need careful design to get the best air flow, and to avoid loosing the fresh air through the mushroom vents would need to be introduced as low as possible within the cabin. It should make the boat dry and fresh at all times, even when shut up over winter.
Mark is correct in that the usual high and low level vents would still be required to meet the BSS inspection.
Good luck.

Rupert Smedley  | 5.44PM, Tuesday 1 February

Something else to consider- if it only pushes nice warm air into the cabin during the day- the warm air will absorb more moisture. At night, when the unit is not functioning, that moisture will condense out.
I should have added that, solar ventilation which only works during the day has been found to not be that effective- but those that run 24hr a day, due to a battery back-up (also charge by the solar panel) are far more effective at reducing condensation levels inside a boat. Unlike houses, the air circulation is usually particularly poor! The amount of heating effect you would get during the winter would be minimal as well, which is when boats traditionally need the most heating and ventilation!

Mark Langley  | 6.25PM, Tuesday 1 February

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