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Old 06-04-2019, 08:24 AM   #1
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Can anyone ID this? Nicro Solar

This is on the bottom of my AC/DC fridge. When you turn it on you can hear a fan behind the fridge. I googled this thing and it looks like its some kind of solar powered fan to make fridge operate more efficiently. The thing that I am stumped about is that I don't see or know of any mini solar panel anywhere on the boat to power it. Does anyone know anything about these? Is it possible mine is wired to the house batteries? Is there a mini solar panel on my boat that I don't know about? I believe its a Norcold Fridge. Any help would be appreciated, Thank you
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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Some fridge compressors are installed in areas with woefully poor ventilation. Adding a fan sometimes helps by moving at least some of the air around, instead of having it just sit in stagnant air behind cabinetry. Some fridge vendors even have accommodations for adding a fan built-into the circuit boards, but don't include one. Likely due to 'cost management' using the excuse of 'not every install needs one'. Yeah, right.

It's entirely possible your setup is using a switch that was meant for some other purpose, having nothing to do with it's original manufacture. I could see the benefit of having a switch on the fan, especially if it's noisy. Me, I hate fan noises, especially ones cutting in/out during the night. Being able to turn it off would be useful, if that was the situation.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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Some fridge compressors are installed in areas with woefully poor ventilation. Adding a fan sometimes helps by moving at least some of the air around, instead of having it just sit in stagnant air behind cabinetry. Some fridge vendors even have accommodations for adding a fan built-into the circuit boards, but don't include one. Likely due to 'cost management' using the excuse of 'not every install needs one'. Yeah, right.

It's entirely possible your setup is using a switch that was meant for some other purpose, having nothing to do with it's original manufacture. I could see the benefit of having a switch on the fan, especially if it's noisy. Me, I hate fan noises, especially ones cutting in/out during the night. Being able to turn it off would be useful, if that was the situation.

Well that makes sense. If that's the case, then I am thinking this fan is wired to my battery, which is fine; I like the idea of being able to switch it off at times when I am looking to conserve battery power.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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Well that makes sense. If that's the case, then I am thinking this fan is wired to my battery, which is fine; I like the idea of being able to switch it off at times when I am looking to conserve battery power.
12 Muffin (computer cooling) fans, if that's what it is, draw such little power (miliamps) that switching may be an unnecessary complication...
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:36 AM   #5
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I'd hope it's not wired direct to the battery, but through a breaker first. Otherwise you've got either an un-fused connection (which is bad) or an in-line fuse hidden somewhere (and of course different than any spares you've got on-board).

One thing I absolutely despised about a previous boat was the lack of on-board battery capacity to reliably handle the fridge. I went the route of adding the 12v fan (which, thankfully, wasn't loud). The fridge itself handled running it when needed. But we continued to have hassles with power consumption until I went the route of changing out the single house battery for a bank of two larger units. Power was still being used, of course, but it stopped being a daily hassle since there was enough capacity to handle the consumption and engine/generator/shore power handle recovery.

My point is if you're chasing wattage... don't rule out adding batteries/capacity.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:58 AM   #6
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My Fridge still has "Norcold" on the front and a few original parts. One of those is a spade connector low on the back, to which I have a 12 v muffin fan that pulls warm air from behind the fridge to help reduce the run time in warm conditions. The fan only comes on when the fridge compressor is running. I don't have a switch on the fan circuit, so the only way to turn the fan off would be to pull the wire off the spade, which I have never done. 12 v muffin fans are almost silent. The compressor noise, though slight, is enough to mask the fan noise. Although I have had the fridge out (to replace that fan) recently, I did not see anything like your Solar control switch.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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Thank you. I'm not really trying to chase battery/power/usage, I just didn't really know how this thing is powered, but mostly I was going crazy wondering if I had a mini solar panel that I didn't know about. I know this little fan is wired into the fridge itself because it turns off when you kill the fridge breaker. This little switch fan has caused me NO issues what so-ever. Just trying to research it a little.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:10 AM   #8
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Nicro manufactured solar powered ventilators. Their Night/Day series had switches. Nicro was acquired by Marinco some time ago.
Day/Night | Marinco
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:46 AM   #9
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We added a 12V fan to our fridge la year. It is a 50 mAmp fan so power consumption isnít a problem. I hooked it to a terminal on the circuit board that is designed to run the fan when the compressor is running. It made a noticeable difference in the working of the fridge. It runs much cooler now. I also added a vent high and low, I put the fan on the low vent blowing air into the cabinet.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:19 PM   #10
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Is it possible mine is wired to the house batteries? Is there a mini solar panel on my boat that I don't know about?
It's just a switch, so is it possible yours is wired to the battery - yes.

Is there a mini solar panel on your boat you don't know about - possibly.

Actually, that latter is unlikely. You'd probably see it if it was there. But turn on the fan, then turn off your master battery switch and if the fan goes off, it's not likely solar. Once you determine if it is connected to your battery, start flipping off circuits until you find which one it's on.

Half the fun of owning a boat is being the only one who knows exactly how the thing operates. Good luck.
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