Introduction: How to Make a Personal Solar / USB Powered Fan.

Picture of How to Make a Personal Solar / USB Powered Fan.

Hello.  this is my entry for the Green Tech Contest.    


  1.  About 30 in. of PVC pipe
  2.  3 T-pieces of PVC pipe
  3.  5 90 degree pieces (right angle)
  4.  Altoids tin
  5.  2 rechargeable batteries & battery holder
  6.  Solder iron & metal
  7.  Solar panels and its circuit board
  8.  Small motor
  9.  Lots of wires
10.  USB cable & connector
11.  Tinkertoys (optional for fan)
12.  Wire cutter
13.  PVC pipe cutter
14.  Small pliers
15.  Hammer
16.  Small piece of wood to fit in hole of tinkertoy
17.  Drill

Step 1: Cut the Pipes.

Picture of Cut the Pipes.

Cut the pipes into these measurements using the the PVC pipe cutter.

  4-  3 1/2 in. pieces
  2-  2 1/2 in. pieces
  1-  9 in. piece
The width of the pipes that I used is 3/4 in. wide.

Then put the pipes together so it looks like this.

Step 2: Make a Hole.

Picture of Make a Hole.

Then drill a hole in the T-piece that is connected to the 9 inch piece so the wire can come out.

Step 3: Connect Wires Together.

Picture of Connect Wires Together.

Next, you get wires, the battery holder, and the part where you plug in the USB cable.
Then, conect the two battery holders together and put extra wires on each side.
On one side of the battery holders connect the USB connector there; on the other side, just leave the wires there.

Step 4: Connect the Circuit Board.

Picture of Connect the Circuit Board.

Now attach the circuit board to thetwo loose wires and solder them together.
Then solder all the wires together and make sure the wires go from positive-to-positive and negative-to-negative.
Then after the solder metal has cooled down put it inside the Altoids tin.

Step 5: Connect the Solar Panels

Picture of Connect the Solar Panels

Now solder together the solar panel and the wire on all panels.
Then connect all the positive wires together and all the negative ones togather.
Then gat two wires and use oe for the positive wires and one for the negative.
Then solder them.

Step 6: Tinkertoys.

Picture of Tinkertoys.

For this step it is optional, but I used tinkertoys for the fan.
So, you will need:
  1.  one center piece
  2.  8 short yellow pieces
  3.  8 green fan pieces

Now put the yellow pieces together with the green pieces and connect it to the center piece.
Then angle the pieces corresponding to the way the motor goes yo make wind.

Step 7: Connect the Motor.

Picture of Connect the Motor.

Now get the USB plug and run it through the hole in the PVC pipe.
If you do not see it come out the top of your stand make sure the wire is not stuck OR make the wire longer.

Then connect the motor to the wires and test the motor after you charge the batteries in the sun.

If it works solder all the wires together and make sure everything is secure and safe. 

Step 8: YOU ARE FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture of YOU ARE FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I you have any questions about this project, please leave a comment.


out-of-the-box (author)2013-03-17

this is a great instructable but you wired the solar panels and batteries inproper. inorder to conect multiple dc power supply you need to do it in a certain way positive to negative. like for example a tv remote, the batteries run into eachother (positive to negative) so for solar panels you simply solder one of one panels negative to the other panels positive after that you are left with a positive and negative wire those would be the output and ground. you connected yours in parrallel which isnt wrong but for a project like this it isnt well sutible. if you connect them in series you will double your output while mantaing the same cap rating. heres a link to a website i just found. i didnt mean for my comment to come off as negative feedback because it isnt, i really like this idea! the wind generator is fantastic!

ceci bot (author)out-of-the-box2013-04-18

Thank you!

wordsand129 (author)2012-08-13

Could you please post a video of the finished product?

jaypal (author)2012-08-03

Could you please detail that "circuit board"?
What is it, or where can I get it?
Part number, serial number, link to the store?


ceci bot (author)jaypal2012-08-06

I got my solar panel from a garden light and I just used the circuit board that was with it.

Sorry for the late response.

jaypal (author)ceci bot2012-08-07

Ok, thank you!

chaitanya44470 (author)2012-08-06

so nice .............. plz share pdf on

BrownDogGadgets (author)2012-07-31

Altoids Chocolate tin! Awesome!

mganpate (author)2012-07-31

very nice idea ..........pls share the pdf on

Schmidty16 (author)2012-07-30

i love the fact u used tinker toy ill vote for u

ceci bot (author)Schmidty162012-07-30

Thank You Very Much Schmidty 16!

Schmidty16 (author)ceci bot2012-07-30

ur welcome

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