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Author Topic: Fan powered by a small solar panel  (Read 4755 times)
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« on: January 24, 2012, 09:12:16 PM »

Hello all,

I need to create a fan powered by a solar panel.  I have a 12" computer fan which I want to use with a small solar panel.  The idea is to move air in confined areas of a room which may become sheltered and need air moving.

I have the fan, what else do I need - I suspect I need a capacitor between the panel.  The idea is to have it running with light, if I can modify later to add a battery inline later that would be great.

Can anyboy advise on this small what appears to hopefully be straightforward.

cheers

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Ivan
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 01:25:07 AM »

Is that 12" or 12V?

You could use a small PV panel and connect directly to the fan. Just make sure that the Panel wattage doesn't exceed the fan wattage, otherwise the PV voltage may become too high for the panel under high solar conditions. I have used the Navitron low wattage 12V panels to do exactly this. However, on low solar days the fan will be sluggish or may not even run at all. The alternative - putting say double the wattage of panels into the fan (eg 20W PV into 10W fan) works well, but you need either a fan that will happily run overvoltage, or a voltage regulator to ensure the fan does not receive too high a voltage.
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www.epogee.co.uk - Solar PV & Solar Thermal Training / MCS
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 08:14:09 PM »

Cheers for the ideas, 

The system will be 12v.    The directions sound good! I have looked around and agree that the 20w panel is a good idea(just looked @ the navitron shop item). I think i may need to link in a charge regulator if I develop the system further and add a battery for lower light times.  If I combine the 20w navitron panel with a charge controller (navitron shop 5 w version ) this may be a matching combination (the 20w spec has a 1.1a max power current.    does this sound like a working combo ?   

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Ivan
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 10:40:33 PM »

Yes, charge controller required if you're using a battery in the system.  You won't find the charge controller much help if you're connecting directly without a battery. You'll need to do some testing. You may find your 12v fans work perfectly well at higher voltage, in which case you can just let them run faster/slower depending on sunlight. I found 10W PV on a 10W fan started up the fan about sun-up in the summer time, maybe 1/2hr to 1hr later on a bad day.
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www.epogee.co.uk - Solar PV & Solar Thermal Training / MCS
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