Intro: Solar-Powered Desktop Fans
Summer is almost here (in Canada) and it is the perfect time to harness the power of the SUN!
Cooling homes in the summer has quite an affect on energy loads and demands, so why not decrease your impact with solar powered fans!
Actually, this can be used for anything that runs on 12 V DC . If you by a 12 V to 110 V inverter you can plug in pretty much anything that isn't too power-demanding. This would depend on the size of your storage battery though.
Step 1: Parts
You will need:
- 1 or more solar panel(s) that can output about 12 V
- rechargeable battery (I used an emergency car booster pack. These are good because they have 12 volt cigarette lighter plugs which are ideal for a computer fan.)
- cigarette lighter outlet adapter
- adapter plug that fits into the input of your battery (I was able to scavenge through some old adapters. The input is there for a 110V adapter that can be used to charge the battery using a regular wall outlet. Not very GREEN charging it that way though!! )
- breadboard (not very necessary, but makes things a lot more customizable)
- 1 or more 12 V computer fans
- shrink tube or electrical tape
- soldering iron (optional)
Step 2: Wiring
Solder or nicely twist together the positive and negative wires of the solar panels to the respective wires on the adapter plug. The solar panels should be connected in parallel.
Use some heat shrink tubing to insulate the wires or wrap the bare wire with electrical tape.
Connect the cigarette plug to wires to the positive and negative terminals of the breadboard or directly to the positive and negative wires of the fan.
Connect the fans to the breadboard. Fan 1 (the black one) had the connector cut off so I connected the wires straight to the breadboard terminals. Fan 2 (blue led) had the regular computer fan connector on it so I connected it the breadboard using two pins. It may be a good idea to incorporate a switch.
Finally plug in the solar panel adapter into the input (charging) hole.
NOTE: I know it says 300 A on the front. This is for the car battery leads that can be seen in the intro (barely) on the right edge of the photo. The cigarette plug does not output 300 amps!
Step 3: CHARGING
Place the solar panel(s) in direct sunlight or stick them to a window. The battery may take a while to charge but it depends on the size of your solar panels and how many you have.
When the battery has enough of a charge, plug in the cigarette lighter adapter. There are LEDs on mine that indicate the amount of charge left. I didn't put a switch on the board so I have to unplug the cigarette lighter adapter in order to turn off the fans. Not too hard to add one though.
Enjoy your renewable source of cooling!
You can also use this to charge your USB devices.