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Thermoelectric Fan for Wave Catalytic Heater


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#1 ski3pin

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 12:05 AM

We have a small Wave 3 catalytic heater in the back of our camper. I recently embarked on a plan to mount a small portable thermoelectric fan above it to circulate the heat around the camper interior.

 

I bought this fan on Amazon -

 

Heat Powered Stove Fan

 

I notice it has a $5.00 price increase since I bought it a week ago. A thermoelectric fan sits atop a heat source and the heat generates an electric current to power the small fan. These are made to sit atop wood stoves. Would it run atop a small catalytic heater?

 

 

Here's the fan -

 

 

 

Thermoelectric-Fan-001-copy.jpg

 

 

 

Here's the base with the strip that, I assume, heats up to generate the current.

 

 

 

Thermoelectric-Fan-002-copy.jpg

 

 

 

Using scrap 1/8" and 1/16" inch thick aluminum I had in the shop, I created a covered slot to slip one end of the fan base into. It holds the fan securely. I had to dissemble the Wave 3 heater to access the case. I tested all the reconnected tubing connections for propane leaks with my leak detector.

 

 

 

Thermoelectric-Fan-003-copy.jpg

 

 

 

I wanted the fan angled to throw warm air toward the center of the camper. Here is the fan slid into place.

 

 

 

Thermoelectric-Fan-004-copy.jpg

 

 

 

We are looking for a small tuperware type plastic box to carry the fan in during travel. I remove the Wave 3 from the camper during the summer months.

 

 

It works!

 

 

I'll report on how we like it after a couple of cold - but cozy inside - nights out. :)


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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 12:32 AM

When we had wood stoves in the house, and a diesel Wallas stove/heater in our CDory, we used EcoFans to distribute and circulate the  warm air.  The only caveats that I’m aware of are hitting the spinning blades, and exceeding the heat limit of the thermoelectric portion of the fan.  I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

 

If I remember correctly, the current is created by the heat acting on two dissimilar metals.

 

Thanks for reminding me about these fans, I bet it will work nicely when the new camper arrives.


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#3 PaulT

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 02:40 AM

As I recall, these are Peltier powered devices. I would be interested in how reliable the fan is and what is the expected life of the fan.  

 

What is the airflow they can maintain with a Wave 3?

 

Peltier devices have also been used for refrigeration like in my old VW camper.  I found it mostly unreliable and only reduced the internal temp an insufficient amount  to maintain food safely.

 

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#4 Lighthawk

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 01:06 AM

If you bought the mini, this almost qualifies for Low Cost Mods ($25 limit) !

 

Great idea, especially since we have the same Wave 3


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#5 ski3pin

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 02:21 AM

If you bought the mini, this almost qualifies for Low Cost Mods ($25 limit) !

 

Great idea, especially since we have the same Wave 3

$23.99 and $1.74 sales tax makes it $25.73       :(


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#6 Old Crow

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 05:15 PM

Here's a photo of a Portable Buddy version I did yesterday.

 

 

FanOnBuddyHeater.jpg

 

In this case, the mini fan has an opening in the fan's base which can be used to mount it using a piece of stiff wire, bent like this.

 

WireForFanOnBuddyHeater.jpg

 

The idea came from this YouTube video.  The wire is at about the 1:40 mark. 

 

The problem, though, is these mini-fans have skyrocketed in price. I paid as much for the fan as I did for the heater.  Perhaps I should have waited to see what happens to prices over the holidays.

 

I've only tested it in low-Fifties temps so far.  I had it just behind the front seats in my Transit and could feel air movement back by the bed.

 

I'm not yet sure I want to give up storage space for the fan unit.  The Buddy heater already heats the space up nicely without the fan.  I'm mostly just wanting to see what adding some air circulation does for me.  

 

I also want to try it in my Clam Traveler screen tent (with wind panels) in winter temperatures.

 

.


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#7 longhorn1

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Posted 06 November 2021 - 08:59 PM

Awesome idea.
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#8 ski3pin

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 12:57 AM

On our recent adventure we had only one cold night that we ran the wave 3 with the new fan. Wow. All I can say is wow. It was nice even heat throughout the camper, even up in the bunk area - a usual cold spot.


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