In summer, one of the crucial elements that you must take care of in your polytunnel is ventilation. It is important to decide when choosing a polytunnel how much ventilation you will require, and also to think about how you will continue to provide enough ventilation and keep your polytunnel cool throughout the warmest months. Especially in a heat wave, keeping a polytunnel cool and well ventilated can be a challenge. There are a number of ways to make sure your polytunnel’s ventilation is adequate, but in weather extremes, you may need a little extra help. A solar fan is one potential option to make life easier in your polytunnel garden this summer.
Here are a few of the solar fans currently on the market. These all offer options for those who want to boost air flow in a polytunnel without relying on mains power, and without spending a fortune:
Sodial 4 inch Cooling Ventilation Fan USB Solar Fan
This small 3W, 6V fan can be attached to the included solar panel and, when the sun in shining this can provide enough power to adequately cool a small space. The fan can also be plugged with a USB connection into a computer or other device, or into a power bank so it can be used during the night or when the sun is not shining.
PK Green Solar Fan
This high quality 20W, 12V solar powered fan and solar panel is a great choice for an eco-friendly camping trip. It could be used in a tent, campervan, motorhome or caravan. The fan is 12 inches in diameter and has three speed settings and a sixty minute timer. The cable is longer than many others on the market and a mains adaptor is also included so you can use your fan on mains, or you can use it with a 12V battery (not provided).
Peakstrom Solar Panel Powered Fan
This 10 inch solar powered fan in 10W, 5V. It is portable and easy to use. The solar panel is waterproof (though the USB port is not) and the included solar panel can also charge some mobile phones and other electronic devices. The fan will also operate independently and in addition to being used with the solar panel can also work when plugged into a working computer or power bank. These are just three of the popular solar powered fans on the market. Usually, these fans are used for camping holidays, or work spaces, but they could also be a good solution for a polytunnel garden – another way to harness the power of the sun and use this renewable energy source to your advantage for sustainable home growing.
Do you use a solar powered fan in your polytunnel? How do you keep your polytunnel cool during the warmest summer weather? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.