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Powering a small fan with solar panels

  1. Jul 16, 2010 #1
    I would like to power a duct booster fan (which I believe uses little energy) using solar panels. The store website says the fan runs at .35 Amps.

    The solar panel would get direct sunlight for about 3 hours a day and indirect sunlight the rest of the day. I would like the fan to run at least all day, but overnight too would be wonderful!

    What kind of solar panel/capacitor rig would I need to set up for this?

    This is the fan I'd like to get.


    Thanks for the help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2010 #2
    Just to kick things off: I think the simplest possible solution would be to find out what voltage the fan requires, and then add enough solar cells in series until their open-circuit voltage adds up to about 110% of the fan voltage. Simply hooking up your fan to your series string of solar cells would clamp the panel voltage close to it's maximum power point. You'd probably need to add more than one string of cells though, to increase the current throughput to match the 0.36A of the fan. Maybe some protection diodes between each series strings and fan would be a good idea.

    EDIT: Re:the panels getting clamped at the fan voltage, I'm not sure this is true. I was thinking of a battery for running the fan at night, but apparently couldn't keep the two thoughts separated. Maybe someone can correct this if it's wrong.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  4. Jul 16, 2010 #3


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    Looks like that fan is 110 volts AC and it does draw 0.35 amps at that voltage.


    So, it would not be a simple project to do this. You would need a large solar array and an inverter to run this fan.

    You could easily run it off your house power though, provided you get an electrician to wire it up for you.
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