A Comprehensive Overview of Solar Powered Fan: Benefits, Types, and
Wondering what can be an environmentally friendly and affordable solution? Well, we’d vouch for a solar fan!
A solar powered fan operates with solar power in place of electricity. It is a mechanical fan that receives power from solar panels.
A solar panel fan works on the similar phenomenon on which the solar lights work. The solar panels providing power to such appliances are device-mounted or fixed as independent installations.
Most solar fans do not need a secondary power source apart from solar energy when they are used for cooling in the daytime.
Besides, a solar panel fan can also be utilised for heating applications. Notably, such devices run the fastest when the weather outside is super hot.
There are various solar powered fans available in the market, in different shapes and sizes. But they all work on the same phenomenon of harnessing power from the sun.
You can find small fans for your summer outings or campings. Besides, large roof-installed fans are also available for big rooms at homes or offices to offer you a cool breeze on sunny days.
What are the Different Types of a Solar Panel Fan?
Let us explore various types of solar fans available in the market.
- – Solar Roof-Mounted or Ceiling Fans: A roof-mounted solar panel fan facilitates the reduction of heat from the ceiling or attic.
These fans are installed on the ceiling as per the requirement to replace the heat in the room with cool air. They come in different designs to complement your interiors.
- – Pedestal Solar Powered Fan: Now, pedestal fans are also available as Solar-driven fans. These are standing devices that come in a wide range of sizes.
They offer features like AC/DC automatic conversion, multi-speed airflow, and left and right oscillation.
- – Desk Solar Fans: Such fans are medium-sized solar fans similar to conventional desk fans. But, they work in conjunction with mounted solar panels for power storage. Desk solar fans offer considerable airflow with varying air speeds and directions.
over, some solar power fans also have an additional feature of USB ports for charging mobile phones and other devices.
- – Floor Solar Fans: A floor solar powered fan is ideally used for emergencies. These fans mostly come with an LED light bar. They are very useful during a power failure and come with the capability to run continuously for eight hours.
What are the Pros And Cons of A Solar Powered Fan?
There are many advantages of using a solar panel fan. Let us discuss them!
- – Environment-friendly: A solar fan is an environmental-friendly cooling solution as it uses renewable solar power and reduces carbon emissions. Also, it helps to eliminate the long-term dependency on fossil fuels.
- – Efficiency Directly Proportional to the Weather: When the weather is hotter outside, your solar HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning) system works more productively. Remarkably, a solar fan utilises extreme weather for its optimum functioning.
- – Returns on Cost: The cost upfront for the installation of a solar powered fan may be a bit expensive. Nevertheless, it starts offering returns on the cost. This is because these fans do not rely on the electricity supply from the grid facilitate saving on bills.
- – Saving on Air-conditioning Costs: A solar powered fan can help to reduce the load on the air-conditioning unit of your home or office. It helps to save on your costs of air-conditioning. In the long run, it may slash up to 30% of your air-conditioning costs.
- – No Risk of Electric Mis happenings: Any risks of electric accidents are not there, as a solar powered fan does not have any electric wires attached to it.
- – Mobility: As a solar panel fan is a cordless appliance, it offers high mobility compared to standard electricity-operated fans.
However, a solar fan does have some disadvantages that you should be aware of.
- – There is a high initial investment for installing roof-mounted or solar attic fans. However, they rarely have any maintenance cost post installation unless there is any damage.
- – A Solar powered fan has comparatively lesser power output than a conventional fan. Also, a Solar panel fan works efficiently only when there is hot weather outside.
- – Some solar fans do not have built-in batteries to store power for later use. Hence, they require additional batteries. Otherwise, they cannot work at night.
How to Select The Appropriate Solar Powered Fan?
A Solar-driven fan that is most appropriate for your requirements relies on the place where you will be installing it.
For those who are seeking a solar panel fan for personal use, a wide variety of compact models are available. Such compact models are lightweight have easy portability.
They are enough to offer significant cooling to one person and can be used during camping, lounging, or walking.
Apart from these, there are way larger solar powered fans available on the market. Those are capable enough to cool large rooms in bungalows.
Generally, such fans mention how many cubic feet (or sq ft) they cover and the airflow creation in CFM (cubic feet per minute).
Notably, concerning larger fans, you need to consider a few things before their installation, such as how far from the fan the solar panel can be mounted.
Solar-powered appliances are gaining considerable attention across the globe. A great way to utilise solar energy is by investing in a solar powered fan.
These fans are advanced appliances used in homes offices which operate through solar radiation. To ascertain the most suitable solar panel fan, you need to do a detailed analysis of the place of installation.
Get a suitable solar fan installed at your place and take a greener step towards the environment!
Q. Can we use a solar powered fan outdoors?
The solar fans are appropriate for outdoor usage. If you are travelling for a remote vacation, solar powered fans are the best on-the-go cooling options.
Also, if you are going out camping where there will be no electricity, these fans are useful.
Q. What is the average price of a solar fan?
The average price of a solar powered fan is around USD 575 – USD 775 (Approximately Rs. 45,673 – Rs. 61559).
Besides, the installation expenses for such fans depend on the type of the fan itself.
Q. How to select the ideal solar powered fan?
To select the most suitable solar fan, you should evaluate every product concerning its installation requirements, cooling capacity, and additional features.
Also, you must go through reviews for the selected models before finalising the ideal one. It helps to know their usability and weak points. Lastly, look for fans with a longer warranty period.
D-Light SF40 Solar Rechargeable Table Fan with 10W Solar Panel
The D-Light SF40 Solar Rechargeable Fan with 12 inch Cage is a great way to keep cool during the hot summer months. This fan is powered by the sun, so you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries. Looking for a powerful but silent solar fan? The D-Light Solar Fan is perfect for you! With a 1400 RPM speed, this fan will keep you cool without making too much noise. The solar panel is 10 W and the fan comes with a 12-month warranty. This solar fan is a high quality product that will last you a long.
Browse through the extensive list of Solar Fans at Moglix. Shop online for other D-Light Solar Fans. available at Moglix in the lowest price range.
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D-Light SF40 Solar Rechargeable Table Fan with 10W Solar Panel
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How to Make a Solar Powered Fan!
(”Hooray! It’s finally done. It’s a bit late into the contest but we hope it is good!”)
This project is what we’re entering for the Go Green contest. It’s a cool solar powered mini-fan. The idea is that if you had a fan you would use the air conditioning less. And it’s solar powered so that it has 0 emissions. Finally, this is the first of many collaborations between c3j1r0 and I.
As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. It’s the sharing of ideas that keeps an open source community together. Also, ask any questions you have! We’re always glad to help. Thanks in advance. And hopefully, enjoy!
Oh, and before we forget! A big thank you goes to PacTec Enclosures for the project boxes.
NOTE: Neither of our video cameras are working. :-(. Maybe we’ll get a video up soon! I hope so.
Step 1: The Concept
When we were taking apart an old computer (fun stuff!) we discovered a lot of very cool parts that we could use to make stuff. One of the cooler ones (sorry, very lame pun) was a 12V cooling fan. With the Green Science Fair contest running on Instructables we decided upon making a solar powered fan out of it. It’s really pretty basic. We took a battery holder (2 AA batteries) and wired it into a 1.5V to 12V step up circuit. Now that we had it outputting 12V we hooked it into the fan. Finally (and this is what makes it green), we hooked a PV cell into the circuit so that it would charge the batteries. We knew how much energy air conditioning takes up, so we thought this would be a good way to get people to use less of it.
Step 2: Finding the Tools
Finally, you say. They’ve stopped talking and started on the actual project!Well, you are correct. We’re done rambling for now. The project is actually starting.
Here are the tools you are going to need to build this (NOTE- Components are on the next step) (Also, you can download the checklist, it’s the open office file. It would probably suffice just to read it, but if you had any questions you’d want to check out the stuff below.):
A Soldering Iron (And soldering station)
Wire Strippers (Or you could use this method. Trust me, the wire strippers are way faster!)
Wire Cutters (Mine were built in with the wire strippers)
Optional Pliers (The thinner the better, it makes it easy to grab things on your board without knocking other things loose)
Optional Third Hand Tool (Or a bench vise or something. There’s a great instructable on how to make a third hand tool here)
Maybe A Dremel (You don’t absolutely need this but you’d be surprised how much easier it is)
Maybe A Drill (You might be able to use your Dremel or find another way)
Also Various Drill Bits if you are planning on using the drill.
Once you have all of that it’s on to the components!
Step 3: The Components
These are relatively easy to find. The checklist for these is on the tools page. You could use that, or just read the info below. These can all be easily ordered from Digikey or bought from RadioShack. The only thing we had trouble with was the PV cell, which we took from a solar lawn light.
(1) Schottky Diode. Digikey Part # 1N5818-T
(1) 47 uF Electrolytic Capacitor. Digikey Part # P902-ND
(1) Linear Technology DC/DC Converter Chip. Digikey Part # LT1073CN8-ND
(1) 2 AA Battery Holder
(2) AA Rechargeable 1.2V Batteries. (These will come with your solar powered lawn light if that’s the path you choose to follow)
(1) 8-Pin Socket. Digikey Part # 3M5461-ND
(1) 120 uH Inductor. Digikey Part # M10078-ND
(1) 12V.15A Fan
(1) PV Cell. (Note: I would get this from a lawn light. See Step 4 for the details on getting this.
(1) PC Board.What ever size works for you.
A Project Box. Once again, any size. Probably something you could fit the fan on top of. (Thank you PacTec)
(Some) Wire. You’ll probably want some that is threaded and some that is solid core. ( threaded! Solid breaks a lot!)
Step 4: The Solar Light
One of the hardest parts to find for the project was the PV (Photovoltaic [Solar]) Cell. What we ended up doing was biking (not driving!) to the local hardware store and buying a solar lawn light. So here’s how we got the parts we needed.
Get the light. They sell these at most hardware stores.
Take it out from the box.
The parts you’re looking for are the PV (Solar) Cell and any rechargeable batteries that are in there. Try doing most of it by hand. That way you probably won’t damage the parts. The picture below is of us doing it. not by hand. Haha. If it comes to that, oh well. Any way will work!
The battery should probably just pop out.
You can desolder the Solar Cell, or just cut the wires. Either way.
So now you have all the parts you need.
Step 5: Check the Schematic
Now before you run off and start soldering everything together, you should print out your schematic. I would suggest keeping it with you while you solder.
The problem with this is that the schematic is rather confusing. The schematic that I used is the one from the LT1073 datasheet (2nd picture). If you just printed that out, you would be in trouble though. The spots where the schematic tells you to connect don’t exist on the actual chip.
So. to solve this problem, what you need is another diagram (The first picture). It tells you where the connections that are named in the second diagram are located on the chip.
The third and final picture shows you how to put your entire circuit together. It’s pretty straight forward.
Step 6: Resistor!
Here’s the final step before you get to the actual construction. Also, I’m putting in a summary so you don’t have to read the entire thing if you don’t want to.
Summary: Wire a 10 Ohm resistor into the circuit, right out of the battery pack.
We want two batteries to power this so that it will last longer. The problem is that we are using rechargeable batteries, which output 1.2V as opposed to the standard 1.5V. This is a problem because it means that we can’t use the 3V to 12V converter. We have to use one lower. So how can we do this without blowing out the circuit?
We need to use a resistor to lower the voltage entering the chip. The reason I’m telling you all of this is so you can adjust this if you make modifications to the project. After all, Instructables is a great community for sharing ideas. Odds are that someone will make modifications to this project. It’s easier if they have all of the info. (Also, it’s probably good for educational purposes).
The way that we determined what resistor we needed was through Ohm’s law, which states V(voltage) = I(current) x R(resistance). We use it in this way.
The forward voltage of our circuit is 1.5V. We then divide that by the amperage.15A (Amperes! not milliamperes!), and find that we need a 10 Ohm resistor.
Step 7: Start Constructing!
Now that we have everything we need ready you can start soldering the project together. Here are the steps we used to do this.
Set up the board in the vice/helping-hands tool.
Put all of the components in to see if they fit. (Note: Don’t put the LT chip into the socket until the rest of the project is finished.
If they don’t fit you should get a new board. Otherwise, solder them all to the board. (HINT! It’s easy to solder the parts if you bend the leads so that they stay in the board.)
Now to start connecting the parts. You can really do this in any order you want. Check the next step for our suggested order.
Step 8: How We Did It.
This step is really just how we connected the parts on the board. You could do this any order that you wanted to. If you haven’t done much soldering before then this could be a help. Otherwise, just connect it in whatever order you choose, and skip this step.
Cut and strip wires of different lengths. (You can set up a whole bunch now, or between steps when you need it. Whatever works for you.)
Using your schematic, figure out which pins on the chip you are going to be using, the connect wires to those. Just leave the other end of the wire open.
Now, start connecting the other ends of those wires to where they go in the circuit.
Once you’ve connected all of the wires that run from the chip you should start making the other connections. (Make all of the connections that don’t involve the chip)
Now you should have the chip done. All that’s left to do is to connect the battery, PV cell, and fan. Then set it up in the box and you’re ready to go!
Step 9: Connect the Rest.
IMPORTANT Before you start this step you should remember that you are connecting parts that are going to be inside the box, to parts that will be on the outside of the box. The pictures in this step are just to show you how they connect. Remember to drill the holes in the box, put the wires through, then make the connection.
Now that you have the board with all of the components connected finished you can start connecting the power source and the fan.
The first and most important thing you should do is take out the drill and drill 2-4 holes (depending on the size) in the box.
Next we connected the PV Cell to the battery pack. Thread the wires from the PV cell through the holes, and into the box, then connect it to the battery pack.(Remember, red to red, and black (-) to black. The colors may not be right but if they aren’t (or if you just can’t remember), there’s probably some sort of marking indicating which is positive and which is negative.)
Now we added the third wires that will go to the switch then the board on the positive side, or that will complete the circuit on the negative side. These will go inside of the box.
After that, connect the third wire on the positive side to the switch. Then connect the switch to the board.
Now you are almost done. Just attach the fan to the board (through the holes in the box) and finish off the circuit at the third wire on the negative side of the battery pack (inside the box).
Step 10: Final Steps
There are a couple more finishing touches to complete the fan.
Test it out! Make sure it works by turning it on and off a couple of times.
Next, you’re going to want to secure the fan to the top of the box. You can use hot glue or that foamy padded tape stuff.
As for the solar panel, you may not want to totally secure it to the box. This way, you can rotate it around so it gets the most sun.
Finally, enjoy your fan! Use less air conditioning! Relax in the hot weather!
Step 11: In Conclusion.
In conclusion, you have now completed your fan. Pat yourself on the back! Not only did you finish a fun project, but you also are helping the environment.
Remember, one of the reasons this project is good is because it is a very green project. What I’m getting at is that you shouldn’t drive to get all of the parts. Bike or walk as much as possible!
Finally, use it! You’re not being environmentally friendly if you make it then proceed to abandon it in the garage. Use it so you don’t run your fan in your room as much.
And remember, feedback is always appreciated.
Step 12: Tips and Troubleshooting
This is the last step, we swear! It’s really just a collection of tips and ideas that could help if you’re having problems.
1 Have a clean workspace. Picture number one is our workbench. A perfect example of what not to do. I think we spent more time looking for parts and tools than actually building the project.
2 Enjoy yourself. You can make it a lot more fun by putting on some music. We hooked up Eric’s iPod and played it way too loudly. Then the neighbors complained. Then we played it not so loudly.
1 Check your work with a multimeter. It would have saved us a lot of time if we had.
2 Make sure you get the right parts. We accidentally ordered our inductor incorrectly. We mixed up micro with nano. Don’t do that. =P. It’s a lot easier if you have the right parts.
How to Use a Solar Panel to Power a Fan (Key Steps)
If you are hoping to use a solar panel to power a fan, the good news is that it can be done.
There are, however, some issues that crop up, and how successful this project is, depends on a few factors:
- The size of the solar panel.
- Whether you have some solar battery backup system.
- How much wattage the fan requires to operate.
- How long do you expect the fan to survive,
We did mention some good news, which comes in the form of solar fan kits that are plug-n-play. These fans run off of DC power, making them ideal for use with a portable solar panel.
- The best ways to connect a solar panel to a fan
- Why you should be aware of the risks of using DC with AC appliances
- The easy way to create air movement with a solar panel and a fan
- What will solar panels charge based on energy output?
How to use a solar panel to power a fan
You could go around this project and wire an AC-powered fan to a solar panel, but you would need an inverter. You do not necessarily need a battery backup for daytime usage, but you would expect the fan to run during the night.
A Better way to handle this project is with a solar fan. Solar fans use DC energy, which is ideal since solar panels produce DC power.
If you have a solar array at home, a solar inverter inverts the DC power from the solar array into AC power that is safe for household appliances and gadgets.
With a solar fan, and they are available as kits, the power flows directly from the solar panel to the fan.
So long as there is direct sunlight on the panel, the fan will move air. The beautiful thing about using a solar fan kit is that the power needs of the fan and the power output from the solar panel match.
This means you can use the solar fan long-term. There is a concern, however. Those include:
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- ▶When connected to the solar panel, the fan can run; and can be used alone by plugging into the computer’s USB port. When…
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Because a solar panel does not produce a consistent flow of energy, the fan will need to handle low and high energy output. That situation is taxing for electric motors and could mean a shorter lifecycle for the fan.
Most fans use between 50-100 watts per day. So, a battery that held 100 watts of energy would be sufficient to power the fan with a consistent stream of energy – Problem solved!
One way to solve this problem is to use a solar battery storage system. In this case, the battery storage system would be small enough to handle the wattage of a single fan for 24 hours.
Can I run a fan directly from the solar panel?
You can run a fan directly from a solar panel. However, if you use an AC-powered fan with a solar panel, you need to add a solar inverter.
This is because solar panels produce DC energy incompatible with AC-powered appliances. In addition, the inverter would invert the DC waves to AC waves, making it safer to connect the fan to a solar panel directly.
If you did not use a solar inverter with an AC-powered fan, the fan’s motor would burn out quickly, and that could potentially cause a fire.
A better option would be to use a solar fan kit with a solar panel and a solar fan. The fan runs on DC energy, pairing the panel to the fan a snap as these are plug-n-play kits. All you would have to do is:
- Plug the fan into the solar panel
- Set the solar panel in the sun
- Turn on the fan
- Enjoy the cool breeze.
It really can be easy to use solar energy to power a fan.
How many solar panels does it take to run a fan?
The answer to this question is a little complicated. The total number of solar panels required to run a fan depends on the solar panels’ power output and the fan’s power requirements.
You don’t have to worry about that if you go with a solar fan kit.
A solar fan kit takes just one solar panel to power the fan, and the two components – fan and solar panel – are matched, so there are no other issues.
This small Jackery in sunny conditions would be a great investment. You only need a fan when it’s hot, and this small unit powering 100 watts (150w peak) would be good enough for most fans.
How do you hook up a solar panel to a fan?
If you are using a fan that requires AC power, you would plug the solar panel into an inverter and plug the inverter into a fan.
The inverter inverts the DC energy from the solar panel into the AC energy required by the fan. If you plug a DC energy solar panel into an AC energy gadget, you will quickly burn out the battery or motor on the gadget.
The inverter helps save your appliances and gadgets from damage from DC energy.
The fan uses DC energy with a solar panel fan kit, so an inverter is unnecessary.
Can I run a 12V fan on a solar panel?
Absolutely. This scenario is made much easier with plug-n-play solar fan kits that match the solar panel to the fan.
These options are DC to DC, so it is much safer to use a solar panel with a solar fan than to use a solar panel with a regular fan.
- 185 CFM on high (314 m³/hr), Current draw on low 0.06A (24V) and 0.12A (12V), Current draw on high 0.21A (24V) and 0.35A…
- Unique gimbaled design allows complete 360° airflow with ultra quiet operation (54dB on high).
- Three speeds (1200, 1500, 1800 RPM), four auto-off timer settings (3, 6, 9, and 12 hours).
Solar-powered fans for home
Many people want the option of using solar-powered appliances at home. A portable solar fan is a good option for keeping your home cool while saving energy. You have two ways to go here:
The simplest way to add a solar fan to your home is to use a solar fan kit, which pairs a solar panel with a DC-powered fan.
Many kits have extension cords available, so you can move the fan around as needed.
If you want to power a fan that uses AC energy, you will need a solar panel with an inverter. Solar panels create DC energy which will burn out the motor on a fan that requires AC energy.
The good thing about taking the extra steps and pairing a solar panel with an AC fan is that you can use this option for hard-wired fans in the home’s electrical system.
You would still need an inverter to protect the fan and other appliances from the dangers of DC energy.
What Problems Do Solar Panels Solve?
In environmental terms, solar panels can potentially solve a handful of problems, including;1. Air pollution2. Water pollution3. Greenhouse gases4. Reduction in fossil fuel use
For individuals, solar energy allows you to become completely self-sufficient when it comes to your electricity needs and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
What Are 3 Important Uses Of Solar Panels?
The three most important uses of solar panels are;1. Solar electricity. This can be used to power almost any appliance in your home, including TVs, computers, and fridges.2. Lighting. In addition to the use of low-power, LED lightbulbs, solar panels can provide an efficient, low-cost, and environmentally friendly way to provide lighting to homes. 3. Portable solar. In our modern, always-connected lives, our phones, tablets, and computers are almost always with us, and all run on batteries. Portable PV chargers can help keep our batteries topped up no matter where we are, as long as there is some sun to charge them.
Do solar panels give you free electricity?
Once the cost of the array is paid in full, the energy it produces is free. There are ongoing maintenance costs, too, such as annual panel cleaning, etc.
How much will my electric bill be with solar panels?
Suppose your solar array includes a solar battery backup system, and it is large enough to fully cover your energy usage per day. In that case, your monthly electric bill will be next to zero dollars, even with a grid-tied system.
If your solar array does not include a solar battery backup system, then at night, your house or business will use grid electricity. That cost will vary but expect to pay from 1/3-2/3 of your average electric bill, and that cost will fluctuate seasonally.
Do you save money with solar panels?
The simple answer is, Yes, you save money with solar panels. There is an initial upfront cost, but since solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, you will save money over time. You will also begin to see monthly savings in energy bills, but there are other ways that solar panels pay you back. Those include:1. Adding value to your home or commercial building 2. Monthly decreases in energy costs3. The ability to add more energy appliances without increased monthly costs4. The potential for tax credits for going solar
Can solar panels power a house 24-7?
Most definitely! Solar panels can certainly power a house 24-7, with the addition of a high-quality inverter and a suitable battery bank, of course. To power, a house under normal usage will require a massive solar array, though, and there will be a very expensive initial financial outlay.
Do I need to tell my energy supplier I have solar panels?
This depends on where you live, but in most cases, it’s not necessary to inform your energy supplier that you have solar panels. That said, you may be producing excess power with your solar system, in which case you may be able to sell that excess power back to energy companies.
In this case, you’ll naturally need to be in contact with them.
What Are Solar Cells Known as and Why?
Solar cells are also called photovoltaic (PV) cells. They are called so because the term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means light i.e. photo and electricity i.e. voltaic.
These cells generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. This effect basically causes the generation of free electrons from the semiconducting silicon material of the solar panel when sunlight hits its surface.
What Type of Solar Panels Are Most Efficient and Why?
There are currently three types of solar panels available in the market that are:1. Monocrystalline2. Polycrystalline3. Thin-filmed
Among these, monocrystalline solar panels are known to be the most efficient among all others.
Does heat enter your home through the roof?
Absolutely. Heat enters your home through your roof, and on a hot day your attic can get up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Through conduction, heat from the sun warms your roof which then warms your attic and the rest of your home.
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