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You take any solar application that involves opening and closing things like valves and vents, making things go on and off like fans and pumps, linking a temperature to an action, interfacing with your hot water heating system or the electric grid you need controls.

I have a thermostatically controlled fan that brings in air from my pvc/vinyl heater when it is above 72 degrees. Last winter I took the fan in and out of the window when I used it. This year I built a box out of rigid foam to cover it in the room. I want the insulating cover to be tightly closed when the fan is off.

Having the face of the box at a slight angle and a small magnet on each corner of the cover (an idea borrowed from a clothes dryer vent) do the job and the fan easily blows the cover open.

When I think about other ways of implementing this economy model prototype heater, I need more controls.
These are sill not complicated and could easily remain mechanical.

I am looking for simple passive solar retrofits in the case of the pvc/vinyl heater and I would like to get no more complicated than a remote thermostat to turn a fan on and off. But then maybe it would be nice to have a local thermostat in case the thing worked too well and you got too hot. Now it gets interesting. You want the fan to run when the temperature in the heater is 72 or above and when the temperature inside is not TOO hot. Somehow you have to make the fan turn off even though the temperature in the heater is above 72 and make it stay off when the temperature in the heater is below 72 and the room is TOO cold.

In this case you can do the wiring equivalent of pluging one thermostat into the wall and the second into the first. Plug the fan into the second and turn it on. Unless both thermostats are "calling for heat", the fan won't run.
This configuration is a digital circuit. Digital 1/0 on/off. It is a logical .and. gate. Note that although it is digital, it is not solid state.

I am running a forum called

Solid State Solar System Solutions

I am interested in what you have found "off the shelf" and what you have plugged into what.

Lets hear some of the challenging wiring ups too.

Please take a look at the forum