Hi there! This Instructable will teach you how to turn your old umbrella into one with a solar powered fan. Most materials are easy to find and utilize, you this is a great DIY for all to do! Not to mention this is especially great for those pesky hot days in the sun!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials!
The materials needed for this project are:
-Small 5V Solar Panel
-Some Insulated Wires
-Soldering Iron (not pictured)
-Velcro Strips or Dots
-Hair Flex Rollers
-Thin cardboard and small bottlecap
-Hot Glue Gun
-Scissors, Pens, Makers, and an Open Working Space!
Step 2: Create the Fan
First off, you need to find a small bottle cap and poke a hole through the center of it. Then, trace the bottle cap on a piece of thin cardboard or card stock. Now, cut out blades for the fan. You can use a similar shape as I have made or find another blade pattern online.
Next, cut 2 slits into the bottle cap using an X-acto knife. These slits should be at a slight angle and should be at opposite ends of the bottle cap. Make sure to only cut these slits big enough for the blades, as making them too big or small will pose problems when assembling the fan.
Now, hot glue all the pieces together. (the circle shape to the inside of the cap, and the blades into the slits) Finally, use hot glue or super glue to attach the bottle cap to the DC motor. There should be a small shaft on the end of the motor, glue this onto the hole you made earlier.
Step 3: Soldering
The next step is to take your soldering iron and solder wire to the connection points on the solar panel. Afterwards, connect the leftover ends of each wire and connect them to the 2 connection points on the DC motor. Don't forget to be cautious when using a hot soldering iron!
Step 4: Zipper & Velcro
Next, take a strip of Velcro and place it where you want your solar panel to be on the top of the umbrella. Then, place another strip in the exact same spot, but under the umbrella. Also place a strip of Velcro on the back of your solar panel so it sticks to the strip on the umbrella.
After, take your zipper and cut it to a size a little bit bigger than the length of the solar panel. Use super glue to glue down the zipper about an inch under the Velcro strip. Next, take an X-acto knife and cut open a slit in the umbrella where you placed the zipper. This zipper is there so that you can place the solar panel under the umbrella when it becomes rainy.
Step 5: Rods
This is the most difficult step. Now, take old hair flex rollers and take off the foam covers until you have at least 3 of the rods inside. Now, take them and shape them into hangers for the motor. The motor will be suspended by these rods. I wrapped one around the motor with 2 ends sticking up, which i then connected to 2 other rods that were connected to the frame of the umbrella.
Once you have the desired frame, hot glue everything in place so that the rods are sturdy and don't move
Step 6: Done!!
Now you have a fabulous umbrella with a solar powered fan!
Step 7: Additional Step
If you live where it is often hot and humid, but not necessarily sunny, you can add 2 AA batteries to the umbrella to make it work instead. Glue the batteries to the top of the frame of the umbrella, but do not connect the wires to the fan! As soon as you do so, the blades will spin non stop. You can add a on/off button, or place the wires in between some additional Velcro attached to the umbrella until the fan is to be used.