Instructables
(''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.
 
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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.
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 just a small tip: i noticed that you have your parts a bit far apart. if you put them closer together you wont need all the messy wire and you can use solder bridges to put everything together :)
Cool...I was looking for something like this :)
You can usually get these at the 99c store, which makes them super cheap.
lawidhalm2 years ago
Quick question:

Lets say I want to do this exact same project but without batteries. I want the fan to just run when its getting power from the solar cell and obviously it would turn off when the sun goes down since there's nothing holding the charge. If you have a 3V solar cell wouldn't everything be exactly the same minus the batteries or is there something hidden in there that would need to be changed as well?

Thanks for any help!!
maikel 18004 years ago
I dont understand The Schematic!
can yo explain it to me?
the solar board is 1.2v and 300mA.
the pc fan needs a voltage of 12V with at least 0.3A, (300mA) to run.

this circuit is a voltage doubler that doubles or triples the voltage to make the fan run, but the Power (watts) stays same, even smaller a little.

this system he made, makes the fan to run but not as fast as to generate a proper wind to be useful.
I am not the author and i know it is >2 years since your question, but what is it that you do not understand in the schematic?
there is a solarcell that charges batteries. The voltage from the batteries and solarcell is led to a chip that makes 12 volt out of 1.5 volt. The 12 volt drives a fan
Actually the next step explains
diy_bloke2 years ago
even with yr parts far apart you could have made some shorter connections :-)
How come in your schematic, you only have a 1.5v battery, yet you are using 2 1.5v batteries, making it 3v. your schematic doesn't line up with the parts you are using.
probably a bit late, but let me do a suggestion: the batteries could be in parallel
hhbarakat3 years ago
how much does it cost
powerfool3 years ago
Needless to say this is amazing!
well done! ;)
how long does it run on batteries?

I want to make one too, I'm going to camp near the beach in about a week and I want one for my tent as it gets too hot inside! I'm trying to figure a way to make bigger blades, perhaps with paper or carton or something. Otherwise the flow is too concentrated I guess, right?
Thanks for the instructable! it's great!
You say to use a 120 uH inductor, but the model number you listed brings up a 120 mH inductor. Which one is it?
DanYHKim3 years ago
As far as I can tell, you're running the 12 V fan from the two rechargeable batteries, which have a combined voltage of 2.4 V in series or 1.2 V in parallel. The batteries are charged by the small solar panel, and you step up from the battery voltage to 12 V.

So, why do you take apart the solar lawn light? It's already set up to charge the batteries from sunlight, so couldn't you just divert the power from the lawn light's output away from the LEDs to your step-up circuit, and then to the fan? You would need to bypass the light-sensitive switch that shuts off the lawn light during the day, but it would let you leverage the existing case and circuitry.

Does this set-up need to charge all day before it can power the fan for any appreciable time, or can it run continuously in the sunlight?

Thanks for a fine instructable. I've been looking for something like this to circulate air through a solar heat collector, obviating the passive thermosiphon effect that's usually employed to move the air around.
Ray-l-l4 years ago
Very cool concept.
max1zzz4 years ago
 you need to be very careful when taking the panels out of they will snap
qbt1016 years ago
just a thought....remote your solar cell outdoors via a pair of wires.....
Gjdj3 (author)  qbt1016 years ago
Yeah, that'd be good so that I wouldn't have to mount it to the top. The reason I didn't do that was because it was mainly for outdoor use anyway. But hey, if you liked this do you think you could vote for it in the book contest?
hey i liked ur project, but i was wondering if you would mind if i used it for a science fair project, i will give you credit of course. also, if u don't mind (and im asking for the help of all my fellow instructable peers) cound you help me think of a experimentle question you can do with this project? it has to be something you can test any ideas would be great thnx!!!
Gjdj3 (author)  fafashizzle4 years ago
That would be fine if you used my project. As for testable questions, maybe you could try to find out what voltage of fan, or solar cell (or some other part in the project that could be switched out easily) has the highest energy efficiency.

thnx for the reply, ummm i tried to dowload the checklist for the components, but its a zipped folder so i dont know what to do.....

send me your email in a pm, and I'll email you the actual files. You probably don't have winzip or a simmilar program on your computer or it would have mentioned it.

XOIIO XOIIO4 years ago
But first try right clicking and see if it says extract files or not. It would be a good idea to look into a zip program.  
also thnx for the sci fair ideas, but how would i go about measuring energy efficiency?
XOIIO4 years ago
You should have made it out of entirely salvaged parts. The computer would have the wires, diodes and capacitor, and whatever else and you could use old solar garden lights for the solar cell(s).   
Chad M4 years ago
 Hi,  I'm pretty new to circuit building and have been trying to construct the 1.5v to 12v portion with no success.  I'm including a diagram of what I built for some input.  Thanks in advance.
i10.photobucket.com/albums/a125/chadm2005/Circuit001.jpg

micahcook5 years ago
Thank you.. I think this is exactly wjay i was looking for to install in my 1989 Suburban to remove the heat and the odors that build up from the inside in the hot summer days.. i just need to figure on putting in a temp sensor switch to make it come on at a certian temp...
Jalloy5 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Gjdj3 (author)  Jalloy5 years ago
Haha, go right ahead.
SBloke5 years ago
Concerning the inductor. Is it a millihenry or a microhenry? (micro according to the schematic, milli according to the digikey part numer)
Keith-Kid6 years ago
Awesome!

Oh, congrats, its featured. *GASP* by ewilhelm!
patpatpat.gif
Gjdj3 (author)  Keith-Kid6 years ago
Hey, thanks for commenting. If you liked it do you think you could vote for it in the book contest?
i will how do u vote?
Gjdj3 (author)  music is my lfe26 years ago
Hey, thanks for your interest, the contest ended though.
Gjdj3 (author)  Keith-Kid6 years ago
Thanks, and I like the cartoon.
reado6 years ago
This Instructable looks really fun but I'm having troubles hunting down a few of the components.. Mainly, the TL1073 and the 120 uH Inductor Does anyone know of any substitutions that would work in this circuit? I'm pretty green when it comes to electronics so unfortunately, I'm following this guide to a T... I managed to find a place that has 100 uH Inductor or 140 uH Inductor, would either of those work? Also, regarding TL 1073, are there other IC's that will work in its place? I can order the part from DigiKey but the idea of paying $8 shipping on a $5 item drives me crazy... same goes with the inductor... as nice as 1000 of them would be, I really don't need to blow ~$700 on 999 unnecessary components Any help from a more seasoned DIY'er would be really appreciated! Thanks!
yokozuna6 years ago
Instead of scavenging solar cells from new products, it's cheaper and easier to just buy them- Radio Shack sells them for 5 bucks, part number 276-124. I'm sure there are plenty of other places to get them cheaply from as well.
Gjdj3 (author)  yokozuna6 years ago
Hey, thanks for commenting. Do you think you could vote for this in the book contest? If you can't, no problem.
Gjdj3 (author)  yokozuna6 years ago
That's true if you only need one. The advantage of scavenging is that we got 2 for $11 bucks and we also got 2 photoresistors, the batteries we needed, and 2 bright white LED's. But your point makes sense. We got our lights at bargain-bin prices. If you can't find them at a great price, buy them elsewhere.
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